Author: Natalie Espinosa

Private Tour of William Wegman: Dressed and Undressed with Angela Westwater

October 12, 2017
9 AM: Breakfast, Sant Ambreous, 265 Lafayette Street, NYC
10 AM: Tour, Sperone Westwater Gallery, 257 Bowery, NYC
Free for AFA Members
$40 General Admission


Join the AFA and Angela Westwater, co-founder of Sperone Westwater Gallery, for breakfast and an exclusive tour of William Wegman: Dressed and Undressed, and learn about the work of this year’s recipient of the AFA Cultural Leadership Award.

Installed on two floors of the Norman Foster designed gallery, the exhibition focuses on the 20 x 24 Polaroids Wegman created over a 30-year period, which explore the nature of transformation and illusion and upend expectations of what it means to be human. The vast majority of these photographs have never been exhibited before.

Charles & Valerie Diker and William Wegman to Receive 2017 AFA Cultural Leadership Awards

The American Federation of Arts (AFA) is delighted to announce that the recipients of this year’s Cultural Leadership Awards are collectors and philanthropists Charles and Valerie Diker and artist William Wegman. The awards will be presented at the AFA’s annual gala by Alice Walton, Chairwoman of the Board of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and Jeff Rosenheim, Curator in Charge of the Department of Photography at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The event will take place on October 26 at the Metropolitan Club in New York City. Proceeds benefit the distinguished exhibitions toured to museums nationwide by the American Federation of Arts.

“The incredible generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Diker in donating their vast collection of Native American art to The Metropolitan Museum of Art exemplifies a strong commitment to making art both accessible and comprehensive. Such an initiative is remarkable in its potential to foster engagement and understanding. Mr. Wegman’s ability to move fluidly and successfully through various media creates a dialogue around illusion and intention. In particular, his paintings incorporate a sense of humor while challenging expectations of space,” said AFA Director Pauline Willis.

Over the past forty years, Charles and Valerie Diker have assembled one of the most renowned and comprehensive private collections of Native American art. In 2015, selections from their esteemed holdings were featured in the AFA exhibition, Indigenous Beauty: Masterworks of American Indian Art from the Diker Collection. By gifting over one hundred works from diverse traditions and aesthetic forms to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the couple is helping to address a significant gap in the museum’s collection. It is certain that the couple’s generous gift will fuel greater recognition and appreciation of Native American art and artists, and help them gain entrance into a wider understanding of American art. The Dikers have long been prominent leaders in the arts. They are founding co-chairs of the National Museum of the American Indian’s George Gustav Heye Center, and Mr. Diker is a generous supporter of the Harvard Art Museums and also serves as a trustee of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.

William Wegman is a photographer, painter, and writer who first became known for the pioneering video work he created in Los Angeles in the 1970s. He received a BA from Massachusetts College of Art, Boston and an MFA from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Since the early 1970s, his work has been exhibited at galleries and museums internationally, including such important exhibitions of conceptual art as When Attitudes Become Form at Kunsthalle Bern in 1969 and retrospectives of his work which toured museums in Europe and the US including the Centre Pompidou, the Walker Art Center, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He is probably best known for his work with Weimaraners, a collaboration which began with his dog Man Ray in 1971 and which continues to this day. He has created numerous books for adults and children and he and his dogs have appeared on Sesame Street, Saturday Night Live, David Letterman, Charlie Rose and The Tonight Show. Recent projects include the book William Wegman: Being Human (Thames and Hudson/Chronicle), and William Wegman: Dressed and Undressed, an exhibition surveying over thirty years of his photographic work.

The AFA Cultural Leadership Awards are given annually to an artist, museum leader, or philanthropist in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the art community. Previous recipients have included: Marina Abramović, Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Rosa & Carlos de la Cruz, Milton Esterow, Frank Gehry, Wade Guyton, Arnold Lehman, Wengechi Mutu, Shirin Neshat, Roy Neuberger, Sarah Sze, Eugene V. Thaw, Alice Walton, and Kehinde Wiley.

For tickets to the 2017 AFA Gala & Cultural Leadership Awards, please contact Kristin Sarli at or 212.988.7700 x 209.


About the American Federation of Arts

The American Federation of Arts is the leader in traveling exhibitions internationally. A nonprofit organization founded in 1909, the AFA is dedicated to enriching the public’s experience and understanding of the visual arts through organizing and touring art exhibitions for presentation in museums around the world, publishing exhibition catalogues featuring important scholarly research, and developing educational programs. For more information about the AFA, visit

Press Contact: Natalie Espinosa, 212.988.7700 x 205 or

The American Federation of Arts is Pleased to Announce Collaboration with Art Bridges, Alice Walton’s New Foundation



The American Federation of Arts is pleased to announce its partnership with Alice Walton’s newly formed Art Bridges Foundation to help bring exhibitions to museums of all sizes across the country. In this first collaboration, Art Bridges has provided support to the exhibition Selections from the Studio Museum in Harlem (working title) that will be presented in six venues: the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Washington; The Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina; the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts in Kalamazoo, Michigan; the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, California; the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City, Utah; and the Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, Massachusetts.

In a statement, Pauline Willis, director of the American Federation of Arts remarked “for over a century, the American Federation of Arts has worked with museums in the U.S. and internationally to foster cultural exchange and has brought great works of art to diverse American audiences. We are extremely excited to collaborate with Art Bridges to share our knowledge and expertise and promote this dialogue and exchange between American museums.”

With over 100 works in all media from the 1930s to the present, Selections from the Studio Museum in Harlem will be the first traveling exhibition to reflect the full breadth of The Studio Museum’s unparalleled permanent collection. With works by Romare Bearden, Barkley Hendricks, David Hammons, Norman Lewis, Wangechi Mutu, Faith Ringgold, and Lorna Simpson, among others, the exhibition will expand our understanding of modern and contemporary art by artists of African descent.



The American Federation of Arts is the leader in traveling exhibitions internationally. A nonprofit organization founded in 1909, the AFA is dedicated to enriching the public’s experience and understanding of the visual arts through organizing and touring art exhibitions for presentation in museums around the world, publishing exhibition catalogues featuring important scholarly research, and developing educational programs.


Art Bridges is a 501c3 focused on sharing outstanding works of American art with audiences who have limited access to our country’s rich artistic heritage. Collaborating with museums and institutions of all sizes and in all parts of the country, Art Bridges helps create and fund exhibitions, bringing together artwork from museum partners, private lenders, foundations, and a collection that will be established as a part of Art Bridges. For more information visit

Media Contact: Natalie Espinosa, / 212.988.7700

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Museums Now: Relevance & Representation


September 26, 2017
1334 York Ave.
New York City
$15 General Admission
Free for AFA Members and Students


Museums Now: Relevance & Representation is the next edition of ArtViews, a series of panel discussions that address critical issues in the museum world. In this panel we will explore how museums can evolve and thrive despite changing social contexts and art historical practices. How they have modified their missions, practices, and collections to be more inclusive and satisfy a more diverse and interconnected society. Additionally, panelists will discuss how museums have had to re-examine their economic strategies in order to survive periods of economic fluctuation and decreased public funding.

Panelists include:

Tom Finkelpearl, Commissioner, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs

Rujeko Hockley, Assistant Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art

Belinda Tate, Executive Director, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Hrag Vartanian, Editor-In-Chief and Co-Founder, Hyperallergic

Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO, The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Arnold Lehman, Senior Advisor, Phillips and former Director of the Brooklyn Museum


Support provided by:

Samuel H. Kress Foundation


“Women Artists in Paris, 1850-1900” and their Contemporary Counterparts

September 7, 2017
6-8 pm
The Cultural Services of The French Embassy
972 5th Avenue, NYC
Free. RSVP Required


In this conversation organized on occasion of the exhibition Women Artists in Paris, 1850-1900, Laurence Madeline, the exhibition’s curator, and Bridget Alsdorf, scholar and catalogue contributor, will discuss the experience of women artists working in Paris at the end of the nineteenth century, and that of their contemporary counterparts.

During the second half of the nineteenth century, as a hub of opportunity and inspiration, Paris welcomed artists into dynamic circles of creative and intellectual dialogue and innovation. However, the persistence of restricting gender norms made it difficult for women to be recognized as creators and pioneers in their own right. Drawn from prominent collections across the United States and abroad, Women Artists in Paris, 1850-1900 features close to 90 paintings by 37 artists who helped to fuel the first avant-garde movements and challenged the conservative discourse of the acceptable expressions of femininity.

The accompanying catalogue, edited by the American Federation of Arts in conjunction with Yale University Press, will be available for sale at the event, courtesy of Albertine.

Laurence Madeline is the former Chief Curator of the fine arts division of the Musées d’art et d’histoire (MAH), Geneva. In addition, she has served as Director of the Musée Léon Dierx, Saint-Denis de La Réunion; Curator at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; and Curator at the Musée Picasso, Paris.

Bridget Alsdorf is an Associate Professor at Princeton University specializing in European art of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She is the author of Fellow Men: Fantin-Latour and the Problem of the Group in Nineteenth-Century French Painting (2012).

Women Artists in Paris, 1850–1900 is organized by the American Federation of Arts and curated by independent curator Laurence Madeline.

The exhibition is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding is provided by the JFM Foundation, Elizabeth K. Belfer, the Florence Gould Foundation, Monique Schoen Warshaw, the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, Clare McKeon, Steph and Jody La Nasa, Victoria Ershova Triplett, the American-Scandinavian Foundation, and the Finlandia Foundation.


We thank The Cultural Services of The French Embassy in the U.S. for their support of this event.

Day of Art: Hamptons

10 AM-5 PM

Join Pauline Willis, director of the AFA, at our annual summer event in the Hamptons. This art-filled day features celebrated private collections, lunch, and studio visits.

Highlights include:

Private Tour of Light | Waves by Clifford Ross at the Parrish Art Museum
We will start our day of art at the Parrish Art Museum for a special tour of Light | Waves, a mixed media installation by artist Clifford Ross that uses new photographic techniques to simulate and enhance the force and rhythm of nature. This work is part of the museum’s “Platform” series that invites a single artist to consider the entire museum as a site, thus transcending disciplinary boundaries and encouraging new ways to experience art.

Private Tour at the home of Louise and Leonard Riggio
Our day continues at the home of Louise and Leonard Riggio, Founder and Chairman of Barnes & Noble. Since we first visited in 2014, the couple has acquired several new outdoor sculptures, including Lay of the Land (2016), a commissioned work by Maya Lin; the impressive De Maria Garden and Pavilion, housing a series of Walter De Maria works; and Richard Serra’s Grief and Reason (for Walter), created in honor of De Maria upon his death in 2013. The work indoors rotates between genres of the late 1960s and 70s, such as Minimalism, Pop, Conceptual Art, and Arte Povera with works by the likes of Ed Ruscha, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol.

Prix-Fixe Lunch at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse
We still stop for lunch at the original Bobby Van’s Steakhouse, first opened  in the summer of 1969, where he tended bar and played piano. The restaurant quickly became famous with local musicians, writers, poets, and artists.

Farewell Cocktails & Private Tour at the Home of Barbara and Richard Lane
To end this wonderful day of art, we invite you to the home of Barbara and Rick Lanea longstanding AFA Trusteefor cocktails and a private tour of their outstanding collection. With an emphasis on international contemporary photography, their home features work by artists such as Vik Muniz, Cindy Sherman, Adam McEwen and Barbara Kruger to name a few.

Please note: We will meet at the Parrish Art Museum and will carpool between locations. Participants will be responsible for their own transportation; parking is available at each location. Addresses will be provided upon reservation. Business casual attire recommended.

* Ticket price includes lunch. All but $50 is tax deductible. Space is limited.

For questions, please contact / 212.988.7700 x 209.

Private Tour of Galerie Mourlot

September 14, 2017
6:00–7:00 pm
Galerie Mourlot
16 East 79th Street,
Suite 21, NYC
For AFA Members Only / Free

RSVP: / 212.988.7700  x 209


This intimate tour will offer AFA Members an inside look at the history of Galerie Mourlot. Eric Mourlot, current owner and descendant of the gallery’s founders, will host this special visit.


Established in 1852, the Atelier Mourlot began as a producer of fine wallpaper in Paris, later expanding its operation to print illustrated books and lithographic posters for art institutions. By the late 1930s, with Fernand Mourlot at the helm, Atelier Mourlot became one of the largest and most famous print shops of the 20th century.

Fernand introduced the color lithography process to some of the greatest Modernists of his day, including Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, and Georges Braque. In 1967, the print shop opened a second location in New York, where Fernand collaborated with well-known artists such as Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Marc Chagall, and Alex Katz.

Although the studio is no longer open today, the works and the process of its art remain available at Galerie Mourlot.

For more information about Galerie Mourlot, please visit

Private Tour of “John Lockwood Kipling: Arts & Crafts in the Punjab and London” Led by Susan Weber

September 25, 2017
6–7 pm
Bard Graduate Center
18 West 86TH Street, NYC
Free for AFA Members
$10 for Non-Members


Join us on this private tour of John Lockwood Kipling: Arts & Crafts in the Punjab and London with Susan Weber, co-curator of the exhibition and director of the Bard Graduate Center. This is the first major exhibition to examine the work of John Lockwood Kipling (1837-1911)—designer, architectural sculptor, curator, educator, illustrator, and journalist—whose role in the nineteenth‐century Arts and Crafts revival in British India is little known. Featuring nearly 300 objects from metalwork and furniture to paintings and relief sculpture, the show reveals this charismatic Victorian designer’s expertise, promotion of traditional Indian arts and crafts, and lasting impact on his son Rudyard, author of The Jungle Book.

The catalogue accompanying the exhibition will be available for purchase after the tour. Attendees will receive a 10% discount off the list price.

John Lockwood Kipling: Arts & Crafts in the Punjab and London is curated by Susan Weber, Director, Bard Graduate Center, and Julius Bryant, Keeper of Word & Image, Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Buddha and Shiva, Lotus and Dragon: Masterworks from the Rockefeller Collection at Asia Society

Available from 2020 through 2021


First venue: March 19 – June 14, 2020
Second venue: July 23 – October 18, 2020
Booked: December 3, 2020 – February 28, 2021
Fourth venue: April 1 – June 27, 2021

Buddha and Shiva, Lotus and Dragon: Masterworks from the Rockefeller Collection at Asia Society will present sixty-seven masterpieces collected by John D. Rockefeller 3rd and his wife, illuminating the cultures and history of Asia. This important collection underscores art’s capacity to encourage cross-cultural dialogue and influence economic and public policy. The selection of sculptures, bronzes, and ceramics ranges from the late sixth century BCE to the early nineteenth century CE, and originates from Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tibet, and Vietnam. Highlights include a spectacular Gupta-period Buddha and a Chola-period bronze Parvati from India; an extraordinary bronze gui (food vessel) from China’s Zhou dynasty; a rare seventeenth-century jar by the great Japanese potter Nonomura Ninsei; and an eighth-century bronze Maitreya Buddha from Thailand.

John D. Rockefeller 3rd (1906–1978) and his wife Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller (1909–1992) believed that by building a collection of the highest quality and sharing it with the public, they could educate Americans about the importance and diversity of Asian art, as a means to elevate their understanding of Asian cultures and create bridges to future economic and sociopolitical dialogue and engagement. Sherman E. Lee (1918–2008), an important art museum director and scholar of Asian art, worked with the Rockefellers as an advisor to their collection, and his influence will be addressed throughout this exhibition. The Rockefeller collection was bequeathed to Asia Society in New York City following the death of John D. Rockefeller 3rd in 1978.

Rockefeller played an instrumental role in fostering cultural understanding and cooperation between Asia and America after the Second World War. Early on he was influenced by the collection of Chinese and Japanese art amassed by his parents, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and his interest in Asian art was tied directly to his increasing involvement in international politics, particularly relations between Asia and the West. In 1951 he joined the peace mission to Japan led by John Foster Dulles, and two years later he established the Council on Economic and Cultural Affairs, which necessitated frequent travels throughout the region.

A selection of Japanese works reflects the Rockefellers’ working relationship with their art advisor Sherman Lee set against the backdrop of postwar Japan, when political and economic circumstances led to the sale of many privately owned works and provided an unprecedented opportunity for American collectors. Similarly, the superb ceramics and sculptures in the exhibition bring to light the impact of Chinese civil strife and economic distress on the international art market during the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries, as well as the rise of interest in South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Himalayan art.


For more information, contact Curator Richard P. Townsend at 212.988.7700 ext. 225 or


This exhibition is co-organized by the American Federation of Arts and Asia Society Museum.

Women Artists in Paris, 1850-1900

Authors: Laurence Madeline
With Bridget Alsdorf, Richard Kendall, Jane R. Becker, Vibeke Waallann Hansen, and Joëlle Bolloch
Publishers: American Federation of Arts & Yale University Press (2017)
Dimensions: 9 1/2 x 11 in.
Format: Softcover, 288 pp
ISBN: 978-1-885-444-45-5
Price: $40
(Available September 2017)

In the second half of the nineteenth century, Paris attracted an international gathering of women artists, drawn to the French capital by its academies and museums, studios and salons. Featuring thirty-seven women from eleven different countries, this sumptuously illustrated book explores the strength of these artists’ creative achievements, through paintings by acclaimed Impressionists such as Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot, and exceptional lesser-known artists such as Anna Ancher, Marie Bashkirtseff, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Hanna Pauli, and Lilla Cabot Perry. It examines their work against the sociopolitical background of the period, when women were mostly barred from formal artistic education but skillfully navigated the city’s network of private studio schools, salons, and galleries. Essays consider the powerfully influential work of women Impressionists, representations of the female artist in portraiture, the unique experiences of Nordic women artists, and the significant presence of women artists throughout the history of the Paris Salon. By addressing the long-undervalued contributions of women to the art of the later nineteenth century, Women Artists in Paris pays tribute to pioneers who not only created remarkable paintings but also generated momentum toward a more egalitarian art world.

Read more about the exhibition Women Artists in Paris, 1850-1900.