The Black Curators Matter Oral History Project Part III Talks At The Schomburg In Harlem

March 19, 2024


In a thought-provoking evening program, the focus will be on the evolution of race and diversity in American art institutions from the 1990s to the 2000s.

Central to the discussion will be the pivotal role played by Black curators in driving institutional change and redefining Black culture as an integral part of American culture.

Distinguished participants in this enlightening discourse include Thelma Golden, the Director and Chief Curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem; Franklin Sirmans, Director of the Perez Art Museum Miami; Rujeko Hockley, Arnhold Associate Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art; and LeRonn Brooks, Curator of the African American Art History Initiative at the Getty Research Institute.

This event marks the culmination of The Black Curators Matter Oral History Project, a significant initiative presented by the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies (AAADS) at Columbia University in Harlem, in collaboration with the esteemed Columbia Center for Oral History Research.


Thelma Golden

Thelma Golden is Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, where she began her career in 1987 before joining the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1988. She returned to the Studio Museum in 2000 as Deputy Director for Exhibitions and Programs, and was named Director and Chief Curator in 2005.

Golden was appointed to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House by President Obama in 2010, and in 2015 joined the Barack Obama Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Golden was the recipient of the 2016 Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence. In 2018, Golden was awarded a J. Paul Getty Medal. She has received honorary degrees from Columbia University (2018), the City College of New York (2009), and Smith College (2004).

Franklin Sirmans

Franklin Sirmans is the director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) since fall of 2015. Prior to his appointment in Miami, he was the department head and curator of contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) from 2010 until 2015 and from 2006 to 2010, he was curator of modern and contemporary art at The Menil Collection, Houston. Sirman’s initial museum position was at Dia Center for the Arts, from 1993 to 1996.

After serving as editor at Flash Art magazine in Milan from 1996 to 1998, Sirmans began curating exhibitions. Since 1998, he has organized more than fifty exhibitions, including One Planet Under A Groove: Contemporary Art and Hip Hop; NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith; Fútbol: The Beautiful Game and monographic shows on Vija Celmins, Noah Purifoy, Maurizio Cattelan and Teresita Fernandez, among others. Sirmans was the artistic director of Prospect.3 New Orleans in 2014.

Rujeko Hockley

Rujeko Hockley is Arnhold’s Associate Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She is the curator of the mid-career survey Julie Mehretu and co-curated the 2019 Whitney Biennial.

Additional projects at the Whitney include Toyin Ojih Odutola: To Wander Determined (2017) and An Incomplete History of Protest: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1940-2017 (2017).

Previously, she was Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum, where she co-curated Crossing Brooklyn: Art from Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, and Beyond (2014) and was involved in exhibitions highlighting the permanent collection as well as artists LaToya Ruby Frazier, The Bruce High-Quality Foundation, Kehinde Wiley, Tom Sachs, and others.

She is the co-curator of We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85 (2017), which originated at the Brooklyn Museum and traveled to three U.S. venues in 2017-18. She serves on the Board of Art Matters, as well as the Advisory Board of Recess.

Dr. LeRonn P. Brooks

Dr. LeRonn P. Brooks is the Associate Curator for Modern and Contemporary Collections (specializing in African American collections) at the Getty Research Institute. Dr. Brooks is a specialist in African American art, poetics, performance, and Africana Studies.

Prior to working at the Getty he was an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at Lehman College and a curator for The Racial Imaginary Institute, founded by poet Claudia Rankine.

At the Getty, Dr. Brooks is the lead-curator for the GRI’s African American Art History Initiative (AAAHI) and is charged with building collections.

Dr. Brooks co-curator for the archives of Betye Saar, the Johnson Publishing Company, the architect Paul Revere Williams and distinguished scholar, Dr. Robert Farris Thompson.

His interviews, essays on African American art, and poetry have appeared in publications for Bomb Magazine, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Spelman Museum of Art, Callaloo Journal, The International Review of African American Art as well as The Aperture Foundation, among others.

Wednesday, April 10, 6 PM, Schomburg Center, 515 Malcolm X Blvd New York, NY 10030.


Photo credit: Thelma GoldenRujeko Hockley and Dr. LeRonn P. Brooks. HWM.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Harlem World Magazine, 2521 1/2 west 42nd street, Los Angeles, CA, 90008, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
We're your source for local coverage, we count on your support. SPONSOR US!
Your support is crucial in maintaining a healthy democracy and quality journalism. With your contribution, we can continue to provide engaging news and free access to all.
accepted credit cards

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Articles