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2020 Curatorial Awards For Excellence Announced

Wednesday, April 22, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Casey Collier
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New York, NY, April 22, 2020 — The 2020 Awards for Excellence were released today within the 2020 Art Curators Conference catalog.  Nearly 175 nominations were submitted and vetted by groups of curator jurors from around the world, with importance placed upon how each entry reflected core ideals of inclusion, access, dialogue and engagement.

Twenty projects were honored: exhibition and installation awards were presented to Afterlives of the Black Atlantic; Sean M. Healey Gallery for Asian Export Art; Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983; and Transamerica/n: Gender, Identity, Appearance Today. Catalog, digital publication and essay awards were given to The American Indian and Warhol's Fantasy of an Indigenous Presence; Art after Stonewall: 1969--1989; Betye Saar: Call and Response; Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange across Medieval Saharan Africa; and Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle.

“Highlighting the success of collaborative work, the twenty-six individual curators awarded represent eighteen individual organizations” said Judith Pineiro, Executive Director, AAMC & AAMC Foundation. “We are honored to recognize curators for groundbreaking projects that have advanced new methodologies, scholarship, and inclusion and access within the arts.”

Typically the Awards are celebrated during the annual Art Curators Conference. This year originally scheduled to take place in Seattle, the organization moved the Conference's full content to an online platform. Registration to attend sessions on breaking boundaries, reconsidering notions of borders, advancing understanding of indigeneity and US latinx art; two keynote discussions and an inclusive hiring workshop is open to curators and non-curators until April 27.  

Throughout May and June, AAMC will release social media stories with each curator sharing what inspired their work on the awarded project.  The twenty-six curators receiving awards are heather ahtone, Bianca Alvarez, Rene Barilleaux, Austen Barron Bailly, Kathleen Berzock, Tyler Cann, Karina Corrigan, Jackie Edwards, Carol S. Eliel, Mark Godfrey, Lydia Gordon, Andrea Gyorody, Melissa Ho, Anastasia Kinigopoulo, Sarah Loyer, Daniel Marcus, Lan Morgan, John P. Murphy, Sarah K. Oehler, Matthew Francis Rarey, Drew Sawyer, Lauren Thompson, Elizabeth Hutton Turner, Jonathan Weinberg, and Zoé Whitley.


Catalogue Awards
Organization with an operating budget under $5 million
Kathleen Bickford Berzock, Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs, The Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University           
For Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange across Medieval Saharan Africa at The Block Museum, Northwestern University, published by The Block Museum and Princeton University Press
Organization with an operating budget of $5–$15 million
Tyler Cann, Head of Exhibitions and Pizzuti Family Curator of Contemporary Art, Columbus Museum of Art
Anastasia Kinigopoulo, Lois F. McNeil Fellow, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Daniel Marcus, Roy Lichtenstein Curatorial Fellow, Columbus Museum of Art
Drew Sawyer, Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian Curator of Photography, Brooklyn Museum
Jonathan Weinberg, Curator, The Maurice Sendak Foundation; Critic, Yale School of Art; Lecturer, Rhode Island School of Design
For Art after Stonewall, 1969–1989 at the Columbus Museum of Art, published by Rizzoli Electa
Organization with an operating budget of $15–$30 million
Melissa Ho, Curator of Twentieth-Century Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum
For Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, 1965–1975 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, published by Smithsonian American Art Museum in association with Princeton University Press
Organization with an operating budget over $30 million
Carol S. Eliel, Senior Curator of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
For Betye Saar: Call and Response at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, published by LACMA and Delmonico Books-Prestel


Elizabeth Hutton Turner, Co-Organizing Curator, University Professor of Art History, University of Virginia
Austen Barron Bailly, Co-Organizing Curator, Chief Curator, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Lydia Gordon, Coordinating Curator, Associate Curator for Exhibition Research and Publishing, Peabody Essex Museum
For Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle at the Peabody Essex Museum, published by Peabody Essex Museum / University of Washington Press

Exhibition Awards
Organization with an operating budget under $5 million
Andrea Gyorody, Ellen Johnson ’33 Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Allen Memorial Art Museum
Matthew Francis Rarey, Assistant Professor of the Arts of Africa and the Black Atlantic, Oberlin College
For Afterlives of the Black Atlantic at the Allen Memorial Art Museum

Organization with an operating budget of $5–$15 million
René Paul Barilleaux, Head of Curatorial Affairs, McNay Art Museum
Lauren Thompson, Assistant Curator, McNay Art Museum
Jackie Edwards, Ph.D. Program in Art History, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Bianca Alvarez, Public Art Project Manager, Department of Arts & Culture, City of San Antonio
For Transamerica/n: Gender, Identity, Appearance Today at the McNay Art Museum

Organization with an operating budget of $15–$30 million
Mark Godfrey, Senior Curator, International Art, Tate Modern, London
Zoé Whitley, Director, Chisenhale Gallery
Sarah Loyer, Associate Curator and Exhibitions Manager, The Broad
For Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963–1983 at The Broad
Organization with an operating budget over $30 million
Karina Corrigan, H.A. Crosby Forbes Curator of Asian Export Art, Peabody Essex Museum
Lan Morgan, Assistant Curator for Exhibitions and Research, Peabody Essex Museum
For the Sean M. Healey Family Gallery for Asian Export Art at the Peabody Essex Museum
Article or Essay
heather ahtone, Senior Curator, First Americans Museum
For The American Indian and Warhol’s Fantasy of an Indigenous Presence, published in Warhol and the West by the University of California Press
Digital Publication
Sarah K. Oehler, Field-McCormick Chair and Curator of American Art, Art Institute of Chicago
John P. Murphy, Hoehn Curatorial Fellow for Prints, University of San Diego
For Ivan Albright Paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago. Digital URL: published by the Art Institute of Chicago

Founded in 2001, the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) & AAMC Foundation advances the curatorial field through forward-looking leadership in development and educational opportunities for learning and connecting at every stage of a curator’s career. In partnership with more than 1,300 members, we serve as a resource for the profession’s best practices, codes of conduct and ethical standards. We provide a platform for the exchange of a broad range of information on critical issues driving the field, including diversity and inclusion, digital innovation, artistic voices and histories, and marketing and audience engagement. Our members include independent curators and staff members from 500+ art organizations and museums in eighteen countries, ranging from leading national institutions to community-based art organizations. Through our work, we serve members, professional colleagues, and the public, and our outreach reflects diverse perspectives within the field, often examining strategic directions of curatorial practice and art organization management. With a network spanning the globe, we are an ambassador and advocate for all art curators and the leading champion of their significant contributions.

Judith Pineiro, Executive Director, 212/879-5701,

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