Lowery Stokes Sims
Lowery Stokes Sims is Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design. From 2000-2007 Sims was executive director then president of The Studio Museum in Harlem and served as Adjunct Curator for the Permanent Collection. Sims was on the education and curatorial staff of The Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1972-1999. A specialist in modern and contemporary art she is known for her particular expertise in the work of African, Latino, Native and Asian American artists. She has published extensively and her research on the work of the Afro-Cuban Chinese Surrealist artist Wifredo Lam was published by the University of Texas Press in 2002. In 1997 she organized a survey of the work of Richard Pousette-Dart at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Sims has lectured nationally and internationally and guest curated numerous exhibitions most recently at the National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica (2004), The Cleveland Museum of Art and the New York Historical Society (2006). She is the editor and an essayist for the catalogue of the National Museum of the American Indian’s 2008 retrospective of Fritz Scholder. In 2003-04 Sims served on the jury for the memorial for the World Trade Center and between 2004 and 2006 served as the chair of the Cultural Institutions Group, a coalition of museums, zoos, botanical gardens and performing organizations funded by the City of New York. Sims was a fellow at the Clark Art Institute in spring 2007. In 2005 and 2006 she was Visiting Professor at Queens College and Hunter College in New York City and in fall 2007 Visiting Scholar in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
Sims received her Ph.D. in art history in 1995 from the Graduate School of the City University of New York. The subject of her dissertation was Wifredo Lam and the International Avant-Garde, 1923–1992, which was published by the University of Texas Press (2002). Sims has received honorary degrees from the Maryland Institute College of Art (1988), Moore College of Art and Design(1991), Parsons School of Design at the New School University (2000), the Atlanta College of Art (2002), and College of New Rochelle and Brown University (2003). She holds a B.A. in art history from Queens College of the City University of New York, her M.A. in art history from Johns Hopkins University. She graduated from Bishop Reilly HS in Fresh Meadows in 1966.
At the Met
At the Metropolitan Museum, she participated in the organization of several exhibitions including Ellsworth Kelly (1979), John Marin: Selected Works from the Museum’s Collection (1981), Henry Moore: 60 Years of His Art (1983), and Charles Burchfield (1984). In 1991, she curated Stuart Davis, American Painter, and she was the principal author of the catalogue. In 1995, Ms. Sims coordinated the Museum’s venue of the exhibition I Tell My Heart: The Art of Horace Pippin, organized by the Museum of the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, and curated Paul Cadmus: The Seven Deadly Sins and Selections from the Collection. In 1997, Dr. Sims curated the exhibition Richard Pousette-Dart, 1916–1992 and coordinated Francesco Clemente: Indian Watercolors organized by the Indianapolis Museum of Art. In 1999 she organized Hans Hofmann in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and coordinated the exhibition Barbara Chase-Riboud: Monument Drawings, organized by the St. John’s Museum in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Sims also organized several exhibitions from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum in cooperation with the American Federation of Arts, for which she was also involved in writing catalogues: The Figure in Twentieth Century Art: Selections from the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1985), The Landscape in Twentieth Century Art: Selections from the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1991), American Still Life Painting (1995). For more than a decade, Dr. Sims also was responsible for the annual installation of the Museum's Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, including the 1999 installation, Abakanowicz on the Roof.
The Studio Museum
At The Studio Museum in Harlem, Sims was the coordinating curator for the 2003 exhibition, Challenge of the Modern: African American Artists, 1925–1945, and Fred Brown: Icons and Heroes (2003), which she originally curated for the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.
In 2004 she was the curator for Curator's Eye, focusing on contemporary Installation art in Jamaica, at the National Gallery, Kingston, Jamaica. She was also the curator for The Persistence of Geometry, selections from the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, which was shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland in 2006. That same year she co-curated Legacies: Contemporary Artists Reflect on Slavery at the New York Historical Society.
Lectures and teaching
Sims has written extensively on modern and contemporary artists, with a special interest in African, Latino, Native and Asian American artists. She has lectured at Princeton University, Vassar College, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the High Museum, the Columbus Art Museum, University of Arizona at Tucson, Birmingham Art Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the University of Texas at Austin, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Florida International University, San Antonio Museum of Art, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, The National Gallery of Bermuda, Ball State University and Wellesley College, among other institutions. In 1991 she received the Frank Jewett Mather Award from the College Art Association for distinction in art criticism.
Sims has also had extensive experience teaching art history and museum practice at Queens College, the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. She also has been a lecturer for the Internship Program at The Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Curatorial and Museum Training Internship courses at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University; and a visiting critic and lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, the Maryland Institute College of Art, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Hawaii. In 2005 she was appointed A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University.
She has served nationally and internationally as a juror and guest curator at The Queens Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Pratt Institute, the Caribbean Cultural Center (New York), Cooper Union, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, the California Museum of Afro-American History and Culture, the Maryland Institute College of Art, and the Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans and the National Gallery, Kingston, Jamaica.
While at the Studio Museum Sims served as Chair of the Cultural Institutions Group, a coalition of botanical gardens, historic sites, museums and zoos funded by the City of New York. She also served on panels for the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York City, The Metropolitan Life Foundation, The New York State Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts and the Humanities. In 1981, Ms. Sims was elected member of the Commission on the Status of Women of the City of New York, and in 1987 was appointed for a five-year term to the New York State Council on the Arts by Governor Mario Cuomo. She has served on the board of Art Table, Inc. and the Caribbean Cultural Center and the advisory committee of the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School for Social Research, and the advisory committee of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. She is currently on the boards of the Art Matters and Tiffany Foundations and Art 21. In 1993, she was elected to the board of the College Art Association for a four-year term, and was co-chair of the studio art program for the 1994 annual conference of the CAA. In 2003-2004, she served on the jury for the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition to choose the memorial for the World Trade Center site. In 2006, she was the Porter Colloquium Keynote Speaker.
- "Awards". The College Art Association. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
- http://www.portercolloquium.org James A. Porter Colloquium on African American Art