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Curator, Writer

Thelma Golden

  • CountryUnited States
  • Born1965


Thelma Golden is the Executive Director of the Studio Museum in Harlem. Since disrupting the status quo with her 1994 exhibition ‘Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art’ Golden has continued to create challenging dialogues around art and artists, making her one of the most respected curators in America.

She is the Deputy Director for Exhibitions and Programs at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Before her appointment, she was the Special Projects Curator for Peter and Eileen Norton, contemporary art collectors and philanthropists based in Los Angeles, California. Prior to working with the Nortons, Golden was a curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. At the Whitney, she was Curator and Director of Branch Museums from 1996-1999; Associate Curator from 1993-1996, Director and Exhibition Coordinator, Whitney Museum at Phillip Morris 1991-1993. She began her career at the Whitney in 1988 as Curatorial Assistant. Thelma Golden received a B.A. in art history and African American Studies from Smith College, Northampton, MA.

In addition to her curatorial work, Golden teaches, lectures, and writes about contemporary art, cultural issues, and the curatorial practice nationally and internationally. She is an adjunct professor at the School of the Arts at Columbia University and has been a member of the faculty at Yale University and Cornell University.

She has been a guest lecturer, curator and essayist for projects at numerous institutions including the Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, The ICA / Philadelphia, Harvard University, The ICA / London, and the Miami Art Museum. She has also served on funding and selection panels for the Pew Charitable trust, The MacArthur Foundation, The Federal Advisory Committee on International Exhibitions, The Alpert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts among others. She has contributed essays to publications about Carrie Mae Weems, Bill T. Jones, Kara Walker, and Glenn Ligon. She is a story consultant for Egg: The Arts Show a production of WNET/Channel 13. She serves on the boards of Creative Time, Inc. and Exit Art: The First World in New York City and the Visiting Committee of the Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, MA.

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