See everyone on the Time100 list for 2024. | Video by Time


ACCORDING TO TIME MAGAZINE, the most influential people of 2024 include three important figures in worlds of visual art and design: artist and advocate LaToya Ruby Frazier, architect and educator Lesley Lokko, and Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Golden has led the Studio Museum for two decades, nurturing the practices of rising artists of African descent who today are represented by the top galleries in the world and curators appointed to key roles at major U.S museums. None other than First Lady Michelle Obama said Golden is “one of the most influential people in art” and she “has broadened the world of art to better reflect the sum of us, rather than just a few.”

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay described Lokko as “one of those forces of nature who does many things well.” A Ghanaian-Scottish architect, Lokko founded the University of Johannesburg’s Graduate School of Architecture a decade ago. More recently, she received the Royal Gold Medal 2024 from the Royal Institute of British Architects, becoming the first Black woman honored with the recognition.

Frazier primarily works in photography, bringing attention to the specific experiences of communities in crisis facing challenges such as access affordable healthcare, livable wages, and clean drinking water. Playwright Lynn Nottage called Frazier an “eloquent storyteller, making visible the landscapes and lives of working people.” “LaToya Ruby Frazier: Monuments of Solidarity,” the artist’s first major museum survey, opens to the public on May 12 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.


Time100 Icon: Thelma Golden has served as director and chief curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem since 2005. | Photo by Julie Skarratt


THE ANNUAL TIME100 LIST declares the world’s most prominent newsmakers and changemakers, the people who are at the top of their game in their respective fields, including arts and culture, politics, human rights, climate change, business, technology, and sports. The international list is presented across six categories: Artists, Icons, Titans, Leaders, Innovators, and Pioneers. Each honoree is celebrated with a brief tribute written by another prominent figure who knows them well and/or is an authority in their field (and in many cases has appeared on previous Time100 lists).

“We spend months discussing who belongs on the TIME100, the people who we believe most changed the stories that define the past year,” editor in chief Sam Jacobs wrote about the Time100. He added: “Influence, we know, is complex: it can be for better and for worse, it can span generations, categories, and perspectives.”

E. Jean Carroll, Sofia Coppola, Dominique Crenn, Mark Cuban, America Ferrera, Taraji P. Henson, Patrick Mahomes, A’Ja Wilson, California Gov. Gavin Newsome, and U.S. Dept. of Justice Special Counsel Jack Smith, all made the 2024 Time100 list.

AMONG THE TITANS, Mellody Hobson celebrated Microsoft executive chairman and CEO Satya Nadella, a technologist leading the tech firm’s revolutionary ventures in AI; and Jamie Dimon wrote about Thasunda Brown Duckett, the president and CEO of TIAA, who is “a passionate advocate for financial inclusion.”

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton paid tribute to Frank Mugisha (Icons), a fierce advocate for LGBTIQ+ rights in his native Uganda. Jordan Peele lauded Donna Langley (Titans), NBCUniversal studio group chair and chief content officer. Sharon Lavigne (Pioneers), who is fighting environmental racism in St. James Parish, La., was honored by William Barber II.


Time100 Artist: LaToya Ruby Frazer’s first major museum survey opens to the public on May 12 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. | Photo by Sean Eaton, Courtesy Carnegie Museum of Art


Vice President Kamala Harris honored Yulia Navalnaya (Leaders), widow of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who has “vowed to continue her husband’s fight for justice and the rule of law, giving renewed hope to those working against corruption and for a free, democratic Russia.” Samantha Power wrote about Diana Salazar Méndez (Leaders), who at 42 is the youngest person and first Black woman to serve as the top law-enforcement official in Ecuador.

Trevor Noah called Siya Kolisi (Innovators), the captain of South Africa’s national rugby team, “an embodiment of hope.” Noah said: “You can’t really separate South Africa’s history from rugby. Nelson Mandela once offered rugby as an olive branch between opposing sides of the country, so there’s an immense amount of pride when it comes to the sport. It’s like the connective tissue of the nation.”

THE ARTISTS FEATURED on the 2024 list also include conceptual artist Jenny Holzer; actors Coleman Domingo, Leslie Odom Jr., Dev Patel, DaVine Joy Randolph, and Jeffrey Wright; rapper 21 Savage, singer Fantasia Barrino, and singer/songwriter Dua Lipa; and author James McBride.

The latest Time100 list includes 51 women. Influential Black figures are also well represented. About 25 percent of 2024 honorees are Black.

Listed among the Time100 Icons, Golden has known Obama since her White House years, having served on the Committee for the Preservation of the White House and helped facilitate the process of the former first lady selecting an artist to paint her official portrait. Currently, Golden is overseeing the construction of a new building. Supported by funds raised through the museum’s $300 million capital campaign, the building is the first designed expressly for the needs and purposes of the Studio Museum. The 82,000-square-foot structure designed by Adjaye Associates in collaboration with Cooper Robertson is expected to be completed in 2025. About Golden, Obama wrote:

    Thelma knows the power of flipping an assumption on its head. Her exhibits at the Studio Museum in Harlem and, previously, the Whitney not only stop you in your tracks, they also show you so much more about the depth of the Black experience. Her steadfast dedication has given voice to a new generation of artists and curators who are ready to stir our souls too—folks who may have otherwise gone unnoticed had it not been for Thelma’s eye for talent and potential.

Time100 Pioneer: Lesley Lokko received the Royal Gold Medal 2024 from the Royal Institute of British Architects. | Photo by Murdo Macleod, Courtesy RIBA


A Time100 Pioneer, Lokko is the founder and director of the African Futures Institute in Accra, Ghana, which has introduced a new model for architectural education. Most notable, Lokko was curator of the 18th Architecture Biennale in Venice last year. The New York Times called her edition of the exhibition “nervy” and “elegant.” Writing for Time, DuVernay had this to say about the barrier-breaking architect:

    …[W]hen I met [Lokko] in Venice last summer as the curator of the monumental Architecture Biennale, the industry’s largest festival, I was reliably dazzled by her brilliance and focus. The first person of African descent appointed to the esteemed position, she chose to call her singular showcase “The Laboratory of the Future.” This colossal exhibition included 89 participants with over half from Africa or the African diaspora, giving voice to a new generation of artists.

Frazier is featured with Time100 Artists. Born and raised in Braddock, Pa., the experiences of her family confronting the lethal legacy of the steel industry and related healthcare inequality and environmental racism issues, laid the foundation for her practice. Blending social justice and cultural change, her work spans photography, video, performance, and installation. A conversation between Frazier and Nottage, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner (2009, 2017), was published in the exhibition catalog, “LaToya Ruby Frazier: The Last Cruze.” For Time, Nottage wrote the following about Frazier:

    With honesty and empathy, [Frazier’s] photographs… force us to confront how disenfranchisement, corporate greed, and government neglect have impacted the lives of people from the auto factories in the Rust Belt to the toxic waterways of Flint, Mich. She is an archivist, a healer, and an artist. Her work captures the anxiety, the beauty, and the reality of people negotiating the complexities of life on the brink.

Golden, Lokko, and Frazier join a group of prominent visual art and design figures who have appeared on Time100 lists in recent years, including Simone Leigh, El Anatsui, David Adjaye, Kehinde Wiley, Virgil Abloh, and Kerry James Marshall. When Faith Ringgold was featured on the Time100 list in 2022, Golden wrote the tribute. CT


UPDATE (05/08/24): The article has been corrected to reflect that the cost of the Studio Museum in Harlem’s new building is not $300 million, rather the construction is supported by funds raised through the museum’s $300 million capital campaign. The museum said the cost of the new building itself is not available.


FIND MORE Read full Time100 tributes to Thelma Golden, Lesley Lokko, and LaToya Ruby Frazier

FIND MORE See entire list of Time100 honorees


“LaToya Ruby Frazier: Monuments of Solidarity” is published on the occasion of the artist’s new exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. A conversation with LaToya Ruby Frazier, conducted by Lynn Nottage, is featured in “LaToya Ruby Frazier: The Last Cruze.” Key volumes authored by Thelma Golden include “Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art,” “Bob Thompson,” and “Freestyle: The Studio Museum In Harlem.” Golden co-authored “Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem” and “Lorna Simpson: Revised & Expanded Edition (Phaidon),” among other publications, and has also contributed to numerous catalogs, including “Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces,” and “Gary Simmons: Public Enemy.” Architect Lesley Lokko is a romance novelist who has published more than 20 books.


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