Gus Casely-Hayford is the inaugural director of V&A East in London

The following review presents a snapshot of recent news in African American art and related black culture:


APPOINTMENT | Gus Casely-Hayford is joining the Victoria & Albert Museum in London as inaugural director of V&A East. He is heading up two new venues under construction in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park that will house a museum and a collections and research center. Casely-Hayford has been serving as director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C., since February 2018. The London-born curator, cultural historian, writer and broadcaster is joining the V&A in Spring 2020. The new outposts are set to open in 2023. V&A Museum

AWARDS & HONORS | Betye Saar (at right) is the winner of the 2020 Wolfgang Hahn Prize from the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany. The Los Angeles-based artist, who currently has solo shows at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, will receive the prize April 21, 2020. The Ludwig Museum is dedicating €100,000 (about $110,000) to acquire Saar’s work, presenting an exhibition of her work (April 22,-July 6, 2020), and producing a coinciding publication. The prize has been awarded since 1994. Kerry James Marshall was the first black recipient in 2014 and Saar is the first black woman to be selected. Museum Ludwig

AWARDS & HONORS | Describing her as “a leader in the performance-based craft movement,” the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in New York City announced Indira Allegra has won the 2019 Burke Prize. Inaugurated in 2018, the $50,000 award recognizes an artist under 45 years old working in fiber, clay, glass, metal or wood. Allegra explores grief and memorial practices through a variety of mediums including weaving, installation, and performance. The Detroit-born, Oakland, Calif.-based artist was one of 16 finalists, including Bisa Butler and Tandra Francis. Work by all the artists is featured in a group exhibition at MAD, on view until April 12, 2020. Museum of Arts and Design

ON VIEW | Four paintings on loan from the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum are featured in the collection galleries at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, including “Red Sunset, Old Pond Concerto” (1972) by Alma Thomas. The Utah Review

EXHIBITION | Named for collector Beth Rudin DeWoody, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) opened the Rudin Family Gallery last week. The 1,100-square-foot gallery is the first space at BAM dedicated to visual art. Guest curator Larry Ossei-Mensah organized “When a Pot Finds its Purpose” (Nov. 6-Dec. 15, 2019), the inaugural solo show with Los Angeles-based conceptual artist Glenn Kaino. The Art Newspaper



A testament to New York’s diversity, more than 800 languages are spoken in the city, many of them rare or endangered. A multimedia project seeks volunteers to help document and preserve them. For the forthcoming exhibition “Who We Are: Visualizing NYC by the Numbers” at the Museum of the City of New York (Nov. 22, 2019-June 1, 2020), artist and professor Ekene Ijeoma and his Poetic Justice group at MIT Media Lab are collecting phone recordings of New Yorkers counting from 1 to 100 in any language at 917-905-6647. Address questions to Modest compensation is available.

The Corcoran School of the Arts and Design in Washington, D.C., seeks a new director. The school is part of the George Washington University’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. Review of applications begins Dec. 16, 2019.

Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh is searching for a new Head of the School of Architecture. Review of applications began Nov. 1 and will continue until the position has been filled. The appointment begins July 1, 2020. CT


IMAGES: Top of page, Gus Casely-Hayford. | Photo Courtesy Victoria & Albert Museum; Above right, Betye Saar. | © Courtesy the artist and Roberts Projects Los Angeles, Photo by David Sprague


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