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Monday, January 12, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Judith Pineiro
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The Association of Art Museum Curators Foundation


For Immediate Release




New York, January 13, 2015--The Art Dealers Association of America Foundation (ADAA Foundation) and the Association of Art Museum Curators Foundation (AAMC Foundation) announced today the 2014 ADAA Foundation Curatorial Award recipients.   The partnership, established initially for three years in 2012, grants annual awards to one curator in each of the pre- and post-World War II fields.

The 2014 awardees are Allyson Purpura, Senior Curator and Curator of the Arts of Africa, Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, for the upcoming exhibition World on the Horizon: Swahili Arts Across the Indian Ocean, and Andrea Grover, Curator of Special Projects at the Parrish Art Museum, for the upcoming exhibition Radical Seafaring.  Each will receive $10,000 in fellowship grant money to be applied toward research and development expenses associated with each exhibition.

The ADAA Foundation Curatorial Award is of great importance to AAMCs members, as indicated by the over 100 applicants in just three years.  An exhibitions Research and Development phase is essential towards moving a project forward, but is infrequently funded. AAMC has been dedicated to supporting our membersprofessional growth and honoring outstanding exhibitions from within, so it is particularly exciting that the ADAA Foundation has provided outside support for essential curatorial endeavors through the AAMC.  

"The research and development phase is critical to an exhibition’s success, but is so seldom given the funding it needs,” says Emily Ballew Neff, President, AAMC." The AAMC staff, leadership, and members appreciate the ADAA Foundation’s generosity and dedication to the field of art history.  We all applaud the ADAA’s support in making an essential and positive impact on these projects.”

"Supporting curators while they are in the nascent stages of developing an exhibition is of great interest to the ADAA Foundation,” says Dorsey Waxter, President of the ADAA, "We are delighted to have been able to provide this support and look forward to future collaborations between curators and dealers.”

About Radical Seafaring, at the Parrish Art Museum
Radical Seafaring will survey artistsprojects on the water, starting with conceptual and performance art of the 1960s and 70s to an abundance of recent phenomenological research and site-specific works that involve relocating the studio, the laboratory, or the performance space to the water. This exhibition will feature 20-25 artists with works that range from artist-made vessels, to documentation of creative expeditions, to speculative designs for alternative communities at sea. Radical Seafaring is divided into three broad sections: Exploration (the quest for new experiences, the ineffable, and living in an exhilarated state), Liberation (self-reliance, freedom from terrestrial social contracts, the desire to shape ones world, and Utopian impulses), and Fieldwork (hands-on, methodological intelligence gathering about the environment, such as an artist laboratory or studio at sea). Each of these sections will be examined through works of art—artist-made boats, maps, photographs, drawings, films—and an up-close participatory investigation of the creative process via new commissions, artist-designed excursions, programs and performances on the water.

Andrea Grover is the Curator of Special Projects at the Parrish Art Museum, where she is initiating new models for temporary and off-site exhibitions via the Museums Platform and Parrish Road Show series. From 1998–2008, she was the Founding Director of Houstons Aurora Picture Show, a non-profit cinema specializing in media art and the presentation of multi-disciplinary performances and screenings. In addition to ten years of film and video programming at Aurora, she has curated film programs for both the Dia Art Foundation and The Menil Collection. In 2010, she was awarded a Warhol Curatorial Fellowship, jointly hosted by the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry and Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, to research artists working at the intersection of science and technology. The outcome of that Fellowship is the 2011 publication, “New Art/Science Affinities,” co-authored with Claire Evans, Régine Debatty, Pablo Garcia, and the design collaborative Thumb, that profiles over 60 contemporary artists working in maker culture, hacking, artistic research, citizen science, and computational art. The corresponding exhibition, Intimate Science, opened at Miller Gallery in January 2012, and toured to extensively. She studied visual art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA 1995), Syracuse University (BFA 1992), and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (1991). She was a Core Fellow in residence at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston from 1995-1997, and was a 2013 Center for Curatorial Leadership Fellow.

About World on the Horizon: Swahili Arts Across the Indian Ocean, at the Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Allyson Purpura

World on the Horizon: Swahili Arts Across the Indian Ocean will be the first traveling exhibition organized in the United States dedicated to the arts of the East African coast and western Indian Ocean world. Throughout this dynamic, transoceanic corridor, performing rights, affinities and desires were highly aestheticized, be it through sartorial style, architectural and interior design and decoration, the embellishment of everyday and devotional objects, the arts of poetry and recitation, or expressions of religious piety and expertise. Organized thematically and spanning a range of historical periods, the exhibition will feature objects and soundscapes from all of these contexts—not only for their compelling beauty and artistic excellence, but also for how they reveal the entangled histories of mobility and encounter that so define the region. By approaching artworks as ports of entry into these cosmopolitan “worlds between borders,” the exhibition will invite visitors to see Swahili arts as itinerant and open to re-visioning and will offer compelling new perspectives on the confluence of Asian and African art histories. World on the Horizon is co-curated by Dr. Allyson Purpura (AAMC member and Curator of African Art, Krannert Art Museum) and Dr. Prita Meier (Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), who are also co-editing the exhibition’s companion catalogue.

Allyson Purpura is Senior Curator and Curator of the Arts of Africa at Krannert Art Museum, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Purpura received her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the CUNY Graduate Center. Her research on the social construction of Islamic expertise in Zanzibar led to her current interest in the broader connections between knowledge and power, particularly as they play out in the representational practices of museums. Working across traditional and studio-based arts of Africa and its diasporas, she brings a critical historiographical approach to her projects. She has published on a range of topics such as Islamic charisma and piety in Zanzibar, “undisciplined” knowledge, ephemeral art, and the politics of exhibiting African art. Recent exhibitions include Allan deSouza: The Farthest Point, Moshekwa Langa: Mogalakwena, Auto-Graphics: Recent Drawings by Victor Ekpuk, and Encounters: The Arts of Africa, a major reinstallation of KAMs African art collection.

About The ADAA Foundation Curatorial Awards
Launched in 2012, the Awards were formed in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the ADAA, the awards are intended to help museums advance deserving projects by providing critical funding for research and development.  The partnership, established initially for three years, grants annual awards to one curator in each of the pre- and post-World War II fields. Working in collaboration with the Association of Art Museum Curators, the ADAA and AAMC Foundations form juries to narrow down the initial application pool of proposals to the two finalists.  

Recipients of the award have been: 2012: Lexi L. Sullivan, Curator, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Walking Sculpture and Natalie Mault, Curator, LSU Museum of Art, The Visual Blues; 2013: Jane Dini, Assistant Curator of American Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Art of American Dance and Pam McClusky, Curator for the Art of Africa and Oceania, Seattle Art Museum, Disguise: Masks and Global African Art; and 2014: Allyson Purpura, Curator of African Art, for the upcoming exhibition World on the Horizon: Swahili Arts Across the Indian Ocean, at the Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion, College of Fine + Applied Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Andrea Grover, Associate Curator, for the upcoming exhibition Radical Seafaring, at the Parrish Art Museum. 

About The ADAA Foundation and ADAA
The ADAA Foundation supports and sponsors worthy projects in the arts, which promote art historical scholarship. The Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) is a non-profit membership organization of the nation's leading galleries in the fine arts. Founded in 1962, ADAA seeks to promote the highest standards of connoisseurship, scholarship and ethical practice within the profession. ADAA members deal primarily in paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings and photographs from the Renaissance to the present day. For more information, please visit

About the AAMC and AAMC Foundation
The mission of the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) is to support and promote the work of museum curators by creating opportunities for networking, collaboration, professional development, and advancement. 

In support of these aims, the AAMC Foundation seeks to heighten public understanding of the curator's role in art museums through professional development programs, awards, and grants.  For more information, please visit




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