The Ranald MacDonald Prize? For whom and what for?
According to the articles of association of the foundation ‘Friends of MacDonald • The Dutch Connection’ the answer is: ‘The Ranald MacDonald Award (is annually granted) to a work (about the relations between Asia, Europe and North America in a broad sense) by a beginning artist or writer of exceptional quality, that is ‘true, good and beautiful’.
Four considerations are clear:
- The prize will be awarded to work already circulating in the public domain —it is therefore not a grant.
- The work should be its maker’s ‘first’.
- The maker’s nationality is irrelevant.
- Not only the content of the work is what matters, but the form is equally important. If it concerns a book, the writing should be explicitly good and beautiful.
In a spreadsheet the answer to the questions above might have been put as follows:
|in the public domain||a book already published, a dance that has been performed, a painting exhibited, a building already realised, a film having appeared on screen|
|comprehensible for any interested layman||it should not contain scientific or artistic jargon|
|a start of some kind||preferably his or her very first work in the relevant field|
|writer in the broadest sense||a historical or political work, a poetry collection, a journalistic report, a book of photographs, a novel, an essay|
|artist in the broadest sense||see 'a work in the public domain'|
|good, true, beautiful||ἀγαθόν agathon "good", ἀληθές alethes "true", καλόν kalon "beautiful"|
|in three words, a THING OF BEAUTY|
In the realm of dreams the prize might have been awarded
|Hidenori Mitsue||His paintings of 2012||2012|
|Edmund de Waal||The Hare with Amber Eyes||2010|
|Nina Paley||Sita sings the blues||2008|
|Wang Bing||Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks||2003|
|Jonathan Clements||The Anime Encyclopedia||2001|
|Amélie Nothomb||Le Sabotage amoureux||1993|
|Tony Gatlif||Latcho Drom||1993|
|Frank Dikötter||The Discourse of Race in Modern China||1992|
|Kristofer Schipper||Le corps taoïste. Corps physique, corps social||1982|
|Ian Buruma||The Japanese Tattoo||1980|
|John Dower||Origins of the Modern Japanese State||1975|
|Pierre Ryckmans||Les Habits neufs du président Mao||1971|
|Donald Richie||The Japanese Film: Art and Industry||1959|
|Akira Kurosawa||生きものの記録 • I Live in Fear||1955|
|Vincent van Gogh||Brug in de regen (naar Hiroshige), Courtisane (naar Eisen) en Bloeiende pruimenboomgaard (naar Hiroshige)||1887|
|Eduard Douwes Dekker||Max Havelaar||1860|
|Philipp Franz von Siebold||Nippon||1832|
|Nicolaes Witsen||Noord en Oost Tartarye||1692|