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Curator Lauren Haynes. | Photo by King Texas, Courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

 

AFTER A DECADE at the Studio Museum in Harlem, associate curator Lauren Haynes, is pursuing a new opportunity, joining the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art as curator of contemporary art.

Located in Bentonville, Ark., Crystal Bridges was established in 2005 by Alice Walton, daughter of the late Sam Walton who founded of Walmart. Beginning in October, Haynes will contribute to all aspects of the museum’s contemporary art program including exhibitions, acquisitions, and publications, as well as community programming and donor engagement.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Crystal Bridges team. I have closely watched all of the work being done there since the museum’s founding and I look forward to helping grow the contemporary art program,” said Haynes in the announcement. “Crystal Bridges and the Studio Museum share a commitment to bringing innovative and challenging artworks and exhibitions to broad and diverse audiences. I can’t wait to bring the perspective I’ve developed over the past ten years to Crystal Bridges and the Northwest Arkansas community.”

“Crystal Bridges and the Studio Museum share a commitment to bringing innovative and challenging artworks and exhibitions to broad and diverse audiences. I can’t wait to bring the perspective I’ve developed over the past ten years to Crystal Bridges and the Northwest Arkansas community.”
— Curator Lauren Haynes

Haynes is co-curator of an important Alma Thomas exhibition currently on view at the Studio Museum and is co-editing a comprehensive catalog about the artist known for her powerful use of color working in abstraction, which is expected to be published in November. She joined the Harlem museum in 2006 and oversees its collection and acquisitions. She has also guided the renowned artist-in-residence program and curated a number of significant exhibitions at the Studio Museum. Most recently, Haynes organized “Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet and Contemporary Art”; “Stanley Whitney: Dance the Orange”; “Carrie Mae Weems: The Museum Series”; and the “The Bearden Project”; and presented “Trenton Doyle Hancock: Skin and Bones, 20 Years of Drawing.” She holds a bachelor of arts degree in art history from Oberlin College.

 

READ Culture Talk interview with Lauren Haynes about the exhibition “Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet and Contemporary Art”

 

“We are delighted to welcome Lauren to the Museum this fall. She brings an acute eye and extensive experience, a hallmark of which has been innovative presentations and working with artists and collectors,” said Margi Conrads, director of curatorial affairs at Crystal Bridges. “Lauren is already an accomplished curator, and we look forward to her star continuing to rise at Crystal Bridges. Her experience and vision will inspire our audiences and make a great contribution to our growing, more inclusive contemporary program.”

“We are delighted to welcome Lauren to the Museum this fall. …Her experience and vision will inspire our audiences and make a great contribution to our growing, more inclusive contemporary program.”
— Margi Conrads, Director of Curatorial Affairs at Crystal Bridges

Black Unity, an exhibition of 13 works by eight African American artists including Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Kara Walker, and Bob Thompson, is currently on view at Crystal Bridges through September 5. Last year, the museum acquired “Lunar Rendezvous—Circle of Flowers” by Alma Thomas. The painting is on display in its 1940s to Now gallery, along with “Maya’s Quilt of Life” by Faith Ringgold. Last September, the museum purchased the quilt from Swann Auction Galleries for $460,000 (including fees), an artist record.

The collection also includes works by early African American artists Robert Duncanson and Edmonia Lewis, and contemporary figures such as Alvin Loving, Kerry James Marshall, and Julie Mehretu.

Celebrated for identifying emerging artists of African descent and supporting talented mid-career practitioners, the Studio Museum in Harlem also serves as a proving ground for promising curators. News of Haynes joining Crystal Bridges follows the announcement earlier this year that Naima J. Keith, her Studio Museum colleague, was named deputy director of the California African American Museum in Los Angeles. CT

 

BOOKSHELF
In addition to the forthcoming Alma Thomas volume, curator Lauren Haynes has authored and contributed to several of exhibition catalogs including “Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet and Contemporary Art” and “Stanley Whitney: Dance the Orange,” as well as “The Bearden Project” and “Fore.”