2022 Anne Hill Blanchard Uncommon Artists Lecture
2022 Anne Hill Blanchard Uncommon Artists Lecture
Learn about the works of three visionary African-American artists: connections between sonic and visual art-making in the work of Sister Gertrude Morgan, materiality and William Edmondson’s stone sculptures, and new approaches to Joseph Yoakum.
American Folk Art Museum online
February 06, 2022 | 1:00 pm
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American Folk Art Museum
New York, NY

Event Schedule

1:00 p.m. ET Welcome & Opening Remarks

1:12 p.m. ET Valerie Cassel Oliver | Sister Gertrude Morgan: A New World in My View

1:42 p.m. ET Jennifer Jane Marshall | On Rock and William Edmondson

2:12 p.m. ET Esther Adler | Seeing Joseph Yoakum

Valerie Cassel Oliver is the Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Prior to her position at the VMFA, she was Senior Curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2000 – 2017). She has served as director of the Visiting Artist Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1995-2000) and a program specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts (1988-1995). Her 2018 debut exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was the five-decade survey of work by Howardena Pindell entitled Howardena Pindell: What Remains to be Seen. The exhibition, co-organized with Naomi Beckwith, was mounted for the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; this exhibition was named one of the most influential of the decade. At the VMFA, Cassel Oliver organized the exhibition, Cosmologies from the Tree of Life that featured over thirty newly acquired works from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation. She recently opened the exhibition, The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture and the Sonic Impulse, to critical acclaim. The exhibition opened in Richmond in May 2021 and is currently touring through January 2023. Cassel Oliver is the recipient of a Getty Curatorial Research Fellowship (2007); a fellowship from the Center of Curatorial Leadership (2009); the High Museum of Art’s David C. Driskell Award (2011); the Arthur and Carol Kaufman Goldberg Foundation-to-Life Fellowship at Hunter College (2016) and the James A. Porter Book Award from Howard University (2018). From 2016-17, she was a Senior Fellow in Curatorial Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In Spring 2020, she served with Hamza Walker as a Fellow for Viewpoints at the University of Texas at Austin. Cassel Oliver holds an Executive MBA from Columbia University, New York, an M.A. in art history from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and a B.S. in communications from the University of Texas at Austin.

Jennifer Jane Marshall is Professor of American Art at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where she is also chair of the Art History Department. A specialist in histories of sculpture, museum display, and the marketplace, Dr. Marshall’s book, Machine Art, 1934, a study of Alfred Barr and Philip Johnson’s exhibition of industrial design at the Museum of Modern Art, won the Dedalus Foundation’s Robert Motherwell Book Award in 2013. She is a former NEH recipient, fellow at her university’s Institute for Advanced Studies, and visiting instructor at Stanford University. Dr. Marshall’s research has appeared in American Art, the Art BulletinHyperallergic, and the podcast BackStory. She is currently at work on a book about the American sculptor, William Edmondson.

Esther Adler is Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at The Museum of Modern Art. Her exhibition Joseph E. Yoakum: What I Saw is on view at MoMA through March 19, 2022, and will travel to The Menil Collection in April, having opened at the Art Institute of Chicago on June 12, 2021. Most recently, she organized Betye Saar: The Legends of Black Girl’s Window (with Christophe Cherix, 2019), Charles White: A Retrospective (with Sarah Kelly Oehler, 2018) and Charles White—Leonardo da Vinci. Curated by David Hammons (2017). Past projects include Dorothea Rockburne: Drawing Which Makes Itself (2013), American Modern: Hopper to O’Keeffe (2013), and Gifted: Collectors and Drawings at MoMA, 1929–1983 (2011). 

Image:  Joseph E. Yoakum, Grizzly Gulch Valley Ohansburg Vermont, n.d. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Gift of the Raymond K. Yoshida Living Trust and Kohler Foundation, Inc., 2012, Photo by Robert Gerhardt, The Museum of Modern Art Imaging Services