Lynne Cooke (b. 23 June 1952 in Geelong, Australia) is the Senior Curator, Special Projects in Modern Art, at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. Prior to her present position, she was the deputy director and chief curator at the Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain, (2008 to 2012) and the curator at the Dia Art Foundation (1991 to 2008). Born in Geelong, Australia, Cooke received her B.A. from Melbourne University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in art history from the Courtauld Institute, University of London, and has taught and lectured regularly at the University College London, Syracuse University, Yale University, Columbia University, and the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. She was a co-curator of the Venice Biennale in 1986, the Carnegie International in 1991, and was artistic director of the Biennale of Sydney in 1996.
From 1979 to 1989, Cooke was a Lecturer in the History of Art Department at University College London, and prior to her move to the United States and appointment as curator at the Dia Art Foundation in 1991, Dr. Cooke established herself during the mid-80s as a writer on contemporary artists of the period, including British sculptors Anish Kapoor and Bill Woodrow, and American artist Allan McCollum. During her years at Dia, she has worked to bring greater recognition to women artists who contributed to the minimalist period, organizing exhibitions and publishing writings on Jo Baer, Louise Bourgeois, Bridget Riley, and Agnes Martin, among others; and in addition to developing historical projects with artists of the established Dia collection, nearly all of whom are male and became prominent during the 1960s, she has organized significant exhibitions aimed at introducing European artists of the 1980s to the American public, such as Rosemarie Trockel, Katharina Fritsch, Juan Muñoz, and Thomas Schütte.
From the mid-1990s forward, Cooke has organized a number of exhibitions of younger American women artists, including Jessica Stockholder, Ann Hamilton, and Roni Horn, and worked on several projects with male artists all born outside of the United States. In addition to her work at the Dia Center for the Arts, she has curated exhibitions at the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol; Whitechapel Art Gallery and Hayward Gallery, London; Third Eye Center, Glasgow; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Tamayo Museum, Mexico; and elsewhere. In 2006, she was the recipient of the Award for Curatorial Excellence from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, and in 2007, she co-curated the exhibition "Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years," at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She has written widely about contemporary art in exhibition catalogues and in Artforum, Artscribe, The Burlington Magazine, and Parkett, among other magazines.