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Taylor Renee Aldridge. Photo: Paper Monday.

Taylor Renee Aldridge Named Visual Arts Curator at California African American Museum

Taylor Renee Aldridge and Susan D. Anderson have been hired by Los Angeles’s California African American Museum (CAAM) as visuals arts curator and history curator, respectively. Aldridge, a writer and independent curator formerly based in Detroit, has organized exhibitions at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Artists Market, Cranbrook Art Museum, and the Luminary. She is also the cofounder, along with Jessica Lynne, of the journal ARTS.BLACK and has written for various publications, including Artforum, Artnews, the Art Newspaper, and the Detroit Metro Times. She won the Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for Short-Form Writing in 2016 and the Rabkin Foundation Award for Art Journalism in 2019.

Aldridge’s first project at CAAM will be “Enunciated Life,” an exhibition “in which Black spiritual beliefs—as well as the movements, sounds, and other bodily expressions that have engendered communication within and beyond Black churches—operate as a point of departure for considering modes of surrender.”

Anderson arrives at CAAM from the California Historical Society, where she was director of public programs. She was interim chief curator at the African American Museum and Library at Oakland, has curated exhibitions at UCLA Library Special Collections, and offers curatorial and historical consulting as the founder of Memory House. Her forthcoming book, African Americans and the California Dream (Heyday Books), spans the Gold Rush to the Black Lives Matter movement in providing a history of Californian African Americans.

“At this moment of great uncertainty for many cultural institutions, when museums have had to close their doors to the public, and some are facing layoffs or reckoning with institutional racism, it is all the more meaningful that we are able to welcome onto our team these extraordinary curators,” said Cameron Shaw, deputy director and chief curator of CAAM. Anderson will begin her position this month, with Aldridge to commence in August. Although California allowed its museums to reopen on June 12, the institution is currently closed as it implements safety precautions to deter the spread of Covid-19.