GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum’s book “All Things Beautiful: Wonders from the Collections of the Florida Museum of Natural History,” was honored with the Richard E. Rice Gold Medal for Visual Arts by the Florida Book Awards.

women wearing medals, smiling and holding a book
Heather Dewar and Kristen Grace were presented with the gold medal for visual arts at the annual Florida Book Awards banquet in Tallahassee, Florida. Photo courtesy of Florida Book Awards/Steve Chase of Chase Photography

Coordinated by the Florida State University Libraries, the Florida Book Awards began in 2006 to celebrate the best of Florida literature. Now in its seventeenth year, the annual competition featured 150 eligible publications across 11 categories for books published in 2022.

“We are profoundly honored and grateful for this special recognition. It was a privilege to experience the Abitz Family Dinner and awards presentation with fellow authors and Florida Book Award winners,” noted Beverly Sensbach, senior associate director of the Florida Museum and editor of “All Things Beautiful.” “We appreciate the celebration of literature and learning that this event and related activities make possible. We’re thankful for the focus that the Florida Book Awards and Florida State University Libraries bring to the state’s rich cultural and literary landscape.”

With text by award-winning environmental journalist Heather Dewar and over 300 color photographs taken by Florida Museum photographer Kristen Grace, the book features 10 chapters highlighting select plants, animals, fossils and cultural heritage materials from the museum’s collection of over 40 million specimens and objects.

Dewar, Grace, Sensbach and Florida Museum senior graphic designer Hollis Wooley (not in attendance) were honored with the award on Thursday, April 20, at the annual awards banquet in Tallahassee.

The volume has also been honored internationally, becoming a Gold Winner for book design in the 2023 Indigo Design Awards in the graphic design category.

“All Things Beautiful” was created by the Florida Museum of Natural History and produced with the generous support of Libby and Leonard Furlow and the Toomey Family Foundation for the Natural Sciences. It is available for purchase at the museum’s collectors shop and can also be ordered online from the University Press of Florida at


Writers: Aleidys Lopez Romero,; Nikhil Srinivasan,
Source: Beverly Sensbach,
Media Contact: Kaitlin Gardiner,