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Thelma Golden Wins 2016 Bard Curatorial Award

Hilarie M. Sheets reports in the New York Times that the director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, Thelma Golden, has won the 2016 Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence given by Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies. The award includes an unrestricted $25,000 prize.

The executive director of the CCS at Bard, Tom Eccles, said of the prize panel’s decision: “Thelma today may be thought of as part of the system but she still is a gritty, independent voice raising many issues broader in society from the art world…many of my students in the graduate program are thinking about the work of Thelma Golden and asking to look at the 1993 Whitney Biennial and ‘Black Male’ and the kinds of issues she’s brought up at the Studio Museum.”

Golden began her career at the Studio Museum in 1987, going on to spend a decade at the Whitney Museum before returning to the museum in Harlem 2000 as deputy director. Previous winners of the award include one-time Whitney curator and New Museum founder Marcia Tucker, Kynaston McShine, and Lucy Lippard.