V’Ann Cornelius honored by OrigamiUSA, Mingei International Museum

December 28, 2007

At a gathering held at the Mingei International Museum's Escondido Facility, OrigamiUSA and the Board of Directors of Mingei announced measures honoring V'Ann Cornelius, a longtime supporter of both organizations, who was also in attendance along with friends and family.

OrigamiUSA (represented by OrigamiUSA Vice President and Board Member Robert J. Lang and PCOC Committee members Jan Polish and Vicky Mihara Avery), announced the creation of the new V'Ann Cornelius Award for Regional Groups. This award, made annually to a Regional group, carries with it a credit to The Source for group purchases of origami books and paper along with ten individual memberships in OrigamiUSA, which may be given out by the local group. The award is so named to recognize the years of work that V'Ann has put in promoting local groups, writing up the handbook for local groups, and her general years of outreach supporting origami across the country and around the world.

At the same gathering, Robert Sidner, the Director of the Mingei Museum, announced that in recognition of V'Ann's years of work for the Museum, the Mingei was officially renaming the Museum's collection of world-class origami the V'Ann Cornelius Origami Collection. As a special treat, the Museum had overnight replaced all of the signage in the current origami exhibition, Paper Transformed, to reflect the new name, so that after the announcement, all those in attendance, including V'Ann, were able to go up to the exhibition and see the new signage.

V'Ann has served the Museum for years and was notably instrumental in setting up the Museum's first satellite gallery in the city of Escondido. She was the driving force in curating the exhibition Origami Masterworks at the main museum in Balboa Park, San Diego, in 2001, which is now widely recognized as a watershed event in the world of origami art. It was one of the first worldwide origami exhibitions at a major art museum and has formed the model for many subsequent origami art exhibitions around the world. And it was, by far, the most-visited exhibition that the Mingei had held to date.

V'Ann's health has been failing in recent months but she was able to attend the gathering, along with her husband, John, their children, and their families. Although wheelchair-bound, her eyes were bright and her spirits high, and it was a pleasure to all in attendance to see her thus honored.