2013 Gala & Cultural Leadership Awards

October 29, 2013
The Metropolitan Club, NYC

The honorees for this year’s Gala & Cultural Leadership Awards are Eugene V. Thaw, the esteemed art dealer, collector, and author; and Kehinde Wiley, one of the most original portrait painters working today. They will be introduced by William M. Griswold, Director of the Morgan Library & Museum, and Arnold L. Lehman, Director of the Brooklyn Museum, respectively.

About Eugene V. Thaw
Eugene V. Thaw has been well known in the art world as an art dealer, collector, and author for more than sixty years. He received his B.A. from St. John’s College in Annapolis and enrolled in Columbia University’s graduate program in art history, leaving in 1950, at the age of twenty-three, to become an art dealer and establish his firm, E.V. Thaw & Co. A founding member of the Art Dealers Association of America, Mr. Thaw has served on the association’s board since 1964 and served as president from 1970 to 1972. As a collector he has built important holdings in Old Master drawings, 400 of which he donated to the Morgan Library & Museum; bronzes from the central European steppes, which he donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Native American art. Mr. Thaw is a trustee of the Morgan Library & Museum, as well as an honorary trustee of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He has written articles and art criticism for such publications as The New York Review of Books, The Times of London, The New Criterion, The New Republic, and The New York Times Book Review, among others. In 2003 Mr. Thaw received the Hadrian Award from the World Monuments Fund for his achievements in preserving world art and architecture. Eugene and Clare Thaw have been members of the AFA and supported its exhibitions and programming for many years.

About Kehinde Wiley
Celebrated for his striking depictions of contemporary black and brown people, Kehinde Wiley has created an extensive body of portraiture since taking up the subject more than a decade ago. Born in Los Angeles and now based in New York and Beijing, Mr. Wiley graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute with a BFA in 1999 and Yale University with an MFA in 2001. Shortly thereafter, he became an artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, where he began painting portraits of African American men in the surrounding neighborhood. Since then, Mr. Wiley has expanded his subjects to include both men and women from around the world, using the conventions and trappings of the art historical tradition of portrait painting. His work has been shown at major institutions such as the Jewish Museum in New York, the National Portrait Gallery and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the High Museum of Art, the Hammer Museum, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Walker Art Center, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among many other institutions. Mr. Wiley is currently preparing for a solo exhibition opening at the Brooklyn Museum in 2015

The Cultural Leadership Awards are given annually by the AFA to artists, museum leaders, and a philanthropists in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the art community.


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