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J. Arthur Nelson Award

This award is given to an Iris that has won the most Best in Show Placements in a given year. This does not necessarily represent the best garden worthy Iris. But to win, these Irises obviously prove their value as spectacular cut flowers on the day of the show and most likely grow well in more than one area of the country. In case of ties each Iris may win and an Iris may win in several years.

The Nelson Award was first awarded in 1966. Prior to 1966 it was known as the Queen of Show Award.


2021: No award in 2021. No cultivar was awarded Best in Show more than once in 2021.

2020: No Award in 2020. Due to COVID there were only 2 shows in 2020.





2015: 2014: 2013: 2012: 2011: 2010: 2009: 2008: 2007: 2006: 2005:
From the January 2006 Bulletin, page 76, Exhibition Committee Report for 2005

By action of the AIS Board of Directors, the Nelson Award to honor the iris which has most often been selected Best Specimen of the Show in an AIS accredited show will not be awarded for 2005 as five cultivars were each voted Best Specimen of Show in two shows resulting in a 5-way tie for the Nelson Award. (Three spring shows still have not been reported.) No cultivar was selected Best Specimen more than two times.
2004: 2003: 2002: 2001: 2000: 1999: 1998: 1997: 1996: 1995:
From the January 1996 Bulletin, page 61, Exhibition Committee Report for 1995

The Nelson Award is given to the iris selected Best Specimen in the most shows each year, but it was a tie this year between DUSKY CHALLENGER and SILVERADO. Each was picked in 5 shows, so there will NOT be a Nelson Award this year. JESSE'S SONG was Best Specimen in 3 shows, and ROY DAVIDSON (a species), along with several others were chosen in 2 shows.
1994: 1993: 1992: 1991: 1990: 1989: 1988: 1987: 1986: 1985: 1984: 1983: 1982: 1981: 1980: The 1980 Exhibition Report from the January 1981 Bulletin, page 20. 1979: 1978: 1977: 1976: 1975:
From the 1975 October Bulletin Exhibition Committee Report, page 68:

The Nelson Award cannot be presented this year. There is no way to break the five-way tie for the most votes for Queen of the Show. CUP RACE, FOGGY DEW, NEW MOON, PROSPERITY and STEPPING OUT were voted Queen three times each. FULL TIDE, GRAND VIZIER, MILESTONE, PALE CLOUD, PINK PIROUETTE received two votes each.
1974: 1973: 1972: 1971: 1970: 1969: 1968: 1967: 1966:
The Nelson Award was first awarded in 1966. Prior to 1966 it was known as the Queen of Show Award.

From the 1966 January Bulletin minutes of the November 1965 Director's Meeting:

It was voted to establish the Nelson Award, in the form of a certificate, to be awarded to the iris selected BEST OF SHOW the greatest number of times during the year.

From the 1966 October Bulletin Exhibition Report:

1966 goes down in the annals of the American Iris Society as the year of the plicatas and fancies in iris shows! Rococo, with six tallies, captured the first NELSON AWARD, a new honor established this year by AIS for the variety winning the greatest number of BEST OF SHOW awards. In doing so, this fine plicata ousted VIOLET HARMONY, the most consistent winner of previous years. Runners-up for 1966, each with three tallies, were My HONEYCOMB, BLUE SAPPHIRE, INDIGLOW, and TRANQUILITY. Two plicatas scored twice each: WILD GINGER and DOTTED SWIss-as did RIPPLING WATERS, MARY RANDALL, SNOW GODDESS, EDENITE, RUFFLED TAFFETA, AMETHYST FLAME, and CLIFFS OF DOVER.



-- Main.RPries - 2012-07-03
Topic revision: r37 - 26 Mar 2024, dougchyz
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