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Gradiva® Awards

The Gradiva® Awards for the best works that advance psychoanalysis are presented by NAAP at a special awards ceremony during our annual fall conference in New York City.

We welcome submissions from members and non-members for the best published, produced, or publicly exhibited works that advance psychoanalysis. The 2017 categories, all of which must have a psychoanalytic or mental health theme, are:

  • ART
  • BOOK
  • STUDENT PAPER (previously unpublished)

An additional award of a $500.00 scholarship is given to the best Student Paper. Please note: no dissertations or final presentations will be accepted; journal article-length papers only.

Books and journal articles may be submitted by the author or the publisher. For articles, a link to the relevant publication may be submitted in lieu of hard copies.

Each winner receives a handsome brass plaque etched with an image of Gradiva, which is based on a Pompeiian relief similar to one that hung in Freud’s office.


Entries must have been published, produced, or publicly exhibited between January 1, 2016 and January 1, 2017. Submissions must be postmarked by May 31, 2017. Submit artwork in jpeg format or by DVD. Send DVDs, scripts, or performance dates for TV and film. Please include an email address with each submission. The judges’ decisions are final, and the committee reserves the right not to give an award in any category.

Nominees are notified six weeks prior to the Gradiva® Awards banquet, which takes place at the NAAP Annual Conference each fall in New York City. Winners and nominees are announced at the awards banquet. Send one copy of each submission to all judges, committee chair, and the NAAP office (6 copies total), as follows:


Ronald O. Lieber, MFA, 530 Grand St, E6E, New York, NY 10002,  ronaldlieber@gmail.com
Dayle Kramer, LCSW, 205 3rd Ave., #1J, New York, NY 10003, dayle59@gmail.com 
Nunzio Gubitosa, MPhil, MA, 711 West End Ave., #4D-S, New York, NY 10025,  gubfam7@aol.com
Martin Gliserman, PhD, 120 Lawrence Ave., Highland Park, NJ 08904,  martin.gliserman@rutgers.edu
Patricia Llosa, MFA, 39 Claremont Ave., #41, New York, NY 10027,  llosa.patricia@gmail.com
NAAP, 850 Seventh Avenue, Suite 800, New York, NY 10019,  naap@naap.org

For questions, contact Ronald Lieber, Chair, Gradiva Committee, ronaldlieber@gmail.com



The awards were inspired by Freud’s essay “Delusions and Dreams in Jensen’s Gradiva” (1907(1905)), in which he stated:

“Creative writers are valuable allies and their evidence is to be prized highly, for they are apt to know a whole host of things between heaven and earth of which our philosophy has not yet let us dream … they draw upon sources which we have not yet opened up for science.”

In 1994, Robert Quackenbush proposed these awards for the best published, produced, or publicly exhibited works that advance psychoanalysis. Recalling Freud’s words, NAAP established the Gradiva® Awards to honor our “valuable allies,” including writers, artists, producers, directors, publishers, and others. The winners of the first Gradiva® Awards were announced at the 1995 annual NAAP conference, and included a revival of Moss Hart’s play “Lady in the Dark,” with Kitty Carlisle Hart accepting the award on behalf of her late husband, and Judith E. Daykin accepting an award as Executive Director for the play produced by Encores!

Quackenbush designed and rendered in woodcut the symbol for the awards (now a registered trademark for NAAP) and this was in turn etched on brass plates then mounted on wood. Quackenbush based his rendering on a wall plaque that hung in Freud’s office––a plaster copy of an ancient Roman, marble bas-relief that is displayed in the Vatican Museum.

The sculpture represents a young woman, attired in clothing of the period, stepping along in a charming gait. The image inspired a short novel by Wilhelm Jensen titled Gradiva, a version of Shaw’s Pygmalion, in which a young man falls in love with the image of the girl on the bas-relief and names her Gradiva. He dreams that she lived in Pompeii during the eruption of Vesuvius and he wants to save her. After, while exploring ruins in Italy, he sees in real life the Gradiva of his dreams walking among the columns.

“I could identify with Freud’s words,” says Quackenbush. “I know about the power of being in touch with my unconscious as a professional artist, writer, and psychoanalyst. That was my motivation for wanting to establish the Gradiva® Awards at NAAP: to call forth recognition and appreciation of artists, writers, musicians, poets, filmmakers, and publishers who have made significant contributions to the psychoanalytic community.”

While fear may remain in the minds of those who shun psychoanalysis for what they think might kill their art, the Gradiva® Awards confirm that exploration of the unconscious may do just the opposite, making psychoanalysis a fertile ground for ideas and new works.

It is a great testament to the awards that their creator has authored and illustrated over 200 books for children, in addition to writing numerous articles for psychoanalytic journals and trade publications about childhood behavior and children’s education. For establishing the Gradiva®Awards, Robert Quackenbush received the  Vision Award in 2004.