CSDA: John Fleming Award in Decorative Arts Writing

Canadian Society of Decorative Arts/Cercle canadien des arts décoratifs call for applications
John Fleming Award in Decorative Arts Writing
About John A. Fleming

John A. Fleming, Professor Emeritus of the French, Museum Studies, and Comparative Literature departments at the University of Toronto, passed away in April 2022. He studied at McMaster (BA), University of Toronto (MA), and Harvard University (PhD). John’s academic research and publications have earned multiple awards, and his influence in the field of decorative arts in Canada is substantial. His books include Ukrainian Pioneer Furniture, with Michael Rowan and Halya Kluchko (1992); Les meubles peints du Canada français 1700-1840 (1994); Folk Furniture of Canada’s Doukhobors, Hutterites, Mennonites and Ukrainians, with Michael Rowan (2004); and Canadian Folk Art to 1950, with Michael Rowan and James A. Chambers (2012). John also played an important role in the Canadian Society of Decorative Arts: he was the editor and publisher of Ornamentum magazine from its inauguration in 2006 to 2018 and a CSDA director from 1990 until his retirement in 2019.

Award Information

The John Fleming Award honours his lasting contribution to Canadian decorative arts scholarship and writing.

This award recognizes an exceptional example of original magazine writing on decorative arts in Canada. Decorative arts are creative works, often of a practical or useful nature, produced by an artist, craftsman, or amateur, which have intrinsic aesthetic and/or historical value. These arts include architectural ornament; ceramics; glass; furniture and furnishings; graphics; metalwork and jewellery; textiles; theatre arts; and interior, industrial, and landscape design.

This $1,000 juried award will be presented annually to the winner at the 2023 Canadian Society of Decorative Arts/Cercle canadien des arts décoratifs (CSDA/CCAD) Symposium and the article will be published in Ornamentum magazine and website. 


June 2, 2023, 11:59 p.m. EST


  • Emerging writers, with fewer than five publications, are welcome to submit an unpublished article.
  • The article must address an aspect of decorative arts in Canada, appeal to a diverse readership through an accessible approach, and maintain a unique voice and literacy excellence.
  • By submitting an article, the candidate accepts the terms of the competition and agrees to submit their text to Ornamentum for publication.
  • Previous John Fleming Award winners, CSDA/CCAD board members and staff are ineligible.

Submission Format

  • Author’s name and contact information including phone number and email and mailing addresses.
  • Author’s current CV with list of publications.
  • Unpublished article of 1500-2500 words, in English or French, with the author’s name on all pages. 
  • Submission must be in electronic format of doc, docx, or pdf; double-spaced, with captioned images. If applicable, citations must be in MLA format.
  • Submit to: [email protected]

Selection Process

A jury of three professionals with diverse decorative arts expertise and geographical representation will evaluate submissions based on originality of the subject or approach, contribution to the field of decorative arts in Canada, as well as accuracy and writing style.

For Further Information: [email protected]

Note: To download this criteria page please click HERE

If you would like to donate to this award, please click HERE.