Association of Art Museum Curators: Names Recipients of 2019 Awards for Excellence

The Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) and the AAMC Foundation has named the 20 U.S. curators who will be receiving its 2019 Awards for Excellence. This year’s honorees were selected from 150 nominations, and work in a variety of fields, including native and indigenous art, contemporary art, folk art, medieval art, American art, media art, and photography.

Judith Pineiro, executive director of AAMC and AAMC Foundation, said in a statement, “For 15 years, curators have recognized the trailblazing achievements of their peers through our annual Awards for Excellence. It is a privilege to celebrate this year’s awardees who, through their work, have fostered dynamic dialogue and broader engagement in the arts.”

The 2019 awardees are listed below.


Mindy N. Besaw, curator of American art at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, for a re-installation of the early American art galleries at the museum

Taína B. Caragol, curator of painting and sculpture and Latinx art and history at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, and Asma Naeem, chief curator at the Baltimore Museum of Art, for “UnSeen: Our Past in a New light, Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar” at the National Portrait Gallery

Kristen Collins, curator of manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and Bryan C. Keene, associate curator of manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum, for “Outcasts: Prejudice and Persecution in the Medieval World” at the J. Paul Getty Museum

Tom Joyce, professional artist and lead guest curator at the Fowler Museum at UCLA; Marla C. Berns, director of the Fowler Museum at UCLA; and Allen F. Roberts, professor of world arts and cultures/dance at UCLA, for “Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths” at the Fowler Museum at UCLA

Karen Kramer, curator of Native American and Oceanic art and culture at the Peabody Essex Museum, for “T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America” at the Peabody Essex Museum

Jen Mergel, independent curator, for “Fog x FLO: Fujiko Nakaya on the Emerald Necklace,” presented by the Emerald Necklace Conservancy


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