Public Programs

African Modernisms: A Legacy of Connection Panel Discussion

Wednesday, April 26
6:30-8:00 PM

The Africa Center
1280 5th Ave, NYC

This program is free and open to the public with registration. Also available via Zoom webinar


The AFA is pleased to partner with The Africa Center for a panel discussion entitled African Modernisms: A Legacy of Connection.


Lauren Tate Baeza | Fred and Rita Richman Curator of African Art, High Museum of Art
Kimberli Gant | Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art
Perrin Lathrop | Assistant Curator of African Art, Princeton University Art Museum

Moderated by:

Serubiri Moses | Independent Curator & Author

Drawing on their individual expertise and shared interests, the three curators will discuss their current exhibition projects that explore creative exchanges between artists working in Africa and the United States in the 1950s–70s and bring fresh perspectives to African modernism and its influence around the world. The conversation will also explore the important creative networks activated by these artists, consider why these stories are largely missing from established narratives about art history, and propose ways to nurture creative connections between Africa and America today.


This program is presented in partnership with The Africa Center.

Serubiri Moses is a Ugandan curator and author based in New York City. He currently serves as faculty in Art History at Hunter College, and visiting faculty at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College. He previously held positions at New York University and the New Centre for Research and Practice, and delivered lectures at Williams College, Yale University, University of Pittsburgh, The New School, and basis voor aktuelle kunst (NL), and University of the Arts Helsinki (FL). As a curator, he has organized exhibitions at museums including MoMA PS1, Long Island City; Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; and the Hessel Museum, Bard College, NY. He previously held a research fellowship at the University of Bayreuth, and received his MA in Curatorial Studies at Bard College, and is an alumni of the Àsìkò International Art Programme. He serves on the editorial team of e-flux journal.


Lauren Tate Baeza, PhD is a scholar of African art and political history currently serving as the Fred and Rita Richman Curator of African Art at the High Museum of Art. She was previously the Director of Exhibitions at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, where she curated the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection and organized numerous temporary exhibits engaging the visual arts to address social issues. Baeza is a contributing editor at ART PAPERS; and she speaks, lectures, and consults at nonprofit organizations, universities, and federal departments on a range of cultural and sociopolitical topics related to Africa and the African diaspora. She holds an MA in African Studies from University of California, Los Angeles; a BA in Africana Studies with a concentration in culture studies from California State University, Northridge; and studied curation at Sotheby’s Institute of Art.


Kimberli Gant, PhD is the Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. She was previously the McKinnon Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA, and has also worked as the Mellon Doctoral Fellow at the Newark Museum, and Director of Exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (MoCADA). She has curated numerous exhibitions and gallery reinstallations including Black Orpheus: Jacob Lawrence & the Mbari Club (2022-23), Journeys Across the Border: U.S. & Mexico (2021-22), and Tuan Andrew Nguyen: The Boat People (2021). Gant received her PhD in Art History from the University of Texas Austin (2017), and holds both a MA and BA in Art History from Columbia University (2009) and Pitzer College (2002). Gant has published scholarly work in academic books, such as Anywhere But Here: Black Intellectuals in the Atlantic World and Beyond (2015), art publications such as NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Art Lies and African Arts, and exhibition catalogues at numerous institutions. 


Perrin Lathrop, PhD joined the Princeton University Art Museum as Assistant Curator of African Art in 2022. She was previously Postdoctoral Fellow in Modern and Contemporary Art History at the University of Maryland-Phillips Collection (2021–22), the Warhol Foundation Curatorial Fellow at Fisk University Galleries (2018–19), and Predoctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art (2017–18). Perrin curated The Art of Translation: The Simon Ottenberg Gift of Modern and Contemporary Nigerian Art at the Newark Museum (2012–2013). She received her PhD from Princeton University in the Department of Art & Archaeology with a Graduate Certificate in African American Studies in 2021. Her work explores the interlocking intellectual histories and networks of nationalism, Pan-Africanism, and modernism that informed art produced under the strictures of colonialism in Africa. Perrin is co-curator of the traveling exhibition African Modernism in America with Fisk University Galleries and the American Federation of Arts and editor of its accompanying publication.


AFA Public programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. These programs are also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. We are also grateful for the support of the American Chai Trust.



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