Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor

Lowery Stokes Sims

2018 Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor

A specialist in modern and contemporary art Lowery Stokes Sims is known for her particular interest in a diverse and inclusive global art world and has supported a variety of artists whose identities and work reflect those values. She retired from the Museum of Arts and Design in New York as Curator Emerita in 2015, where she served as the Charles Bronfman International Curator and the William and Mildred Ladson Chief Curator. Sims served on the education and curatorial staff of The Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1972-1999 and as executive director, president and adjunct curator for the permanent collection at The Studio Museum in Harlem from 2000-2007. She recently served as a guest curator/consultant at the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, the McNay Art Museum, Grounds for Sculpture, the Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles and the Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati.

Sims holds a B.A. in art history from Queens College of the City University of New York, a M.A. in art history from Johns Hopkins University, and a Ph.D. in art history from the Graduate School of the City University of New York. The subject of her dissertation was Wifredo Lam and the International Avant-Garde, 1923–1992, which was published by the University of Texas Press (2002). She was Visiting Professor at Queens College and Hunter College, New York City (2005, 2006), a fellow at the Clark Art Institute and a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota (2007) and Distinguished Professor in the Claire Trevor School of Arts, University of California, Irvine in 2014. Sims also served on the selection jury for the World Trade Center memorial (2003-2004) and is a founding board member of ArtTable, Inc., and serves on the boards of the Tiffany Foundation and Art Matters, Inc.

The Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professorship brings a distinguished scholar to the Institute each year to teach a course and give a series of public lectures. The Professorship was endowed in 2006 by the late Professor Varnedoe's friends and colleagues to honor and perpetuate his legacy of innovative teaching and remarkable public presence. Past holders of this position include Jacqueline Lichtenstein (2016) S. Hollis Clayson (2015) Briony Fer (2014), Thierry de Duve (2013), Okwui Enwezor (2012) Wu Hung (2011), David Joselit (2010), Alexander Potts (2009), Molly Nesbit (2008), and Jeffrey Weiss (2007).

Watch the public lectures of previous Kirk Varnedoe visiting professors.