The Sotheby's Prize

Sotheby’s Launches an Annual Prize of up to $250,000 to Help Museums Break New Ground

Sotheby’s has launched an annual prize to support and encourage ground-breaking, thought-provoking exhibitions and curatorial initiatives. Extending up to a maximum value of $250,000, the grant will be available to institutions, curators and museum directors with ambitions to realise trailblazing, potentially landscape-changing, projects in the cultural field.

The inaugural winner will be determined by a jury of esteemed art world figures representing a broad spectrum of cultures and disciplines, namely: Sir Nicholas Serota (Chair, Arts Council England), Connie Butler (Chief Curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles), Okwui Enwezor (Director of the Haus der Kunst museum in Munich) and Donna de Salvo (Senior Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York).

The Prize has been developed by Robin Woodhead, Chairman of Sotheby’s International, and Allan Schwartzman, Chairman and Executive Vice President of Sotheby’s, who explains the reasoning behind it: “While much of today’s relatively limited cultural funding gravitates, by necessity, towards crowd-pleasing, ‘sure sell’ projects and exhibitions, the Sotheby’s Prize aims to offer support for less obvious initiatives – ones that reexamine in illuminating ways important art and periods, whether known but ripe for reevaluation, or more obscure but ready for deeper examination. To my mind, while single-artist retrospectives and blockbuster thematic shows are important, it is nonetheless critical that the art-loving public has the opportunity to see and experience a full gamut of probing and paradigm-advancing shows. For all of us, this is not about identifying the next market or museum superstar. It’s about broadening horizons and shining a light on things that are, in their own discreet way, critical to our art-historical understanding and future.”

Sir Nicholas Serota gives his perspective: “A great museum exhibition is one which really captures public imagination. Shows devoted to a single artist have become increasingly prevalent, and while of course they’re valid and important, I think there is now a real need for parallel exhibitions that open up whole new areas of territory for consideration: shows that perhaps bring together artists who haven’t been seen together before, or that focus on artists who’ve been disregarded. Those kinds of projects are often difficult to achieve because it can be hard to find sponsors or patrons to support them, but this Prize, I hope, will enable museums and curators to think more in these terms and to provide more revelatory moments for all of us. A Prize like this could really open up whole new territory.”

For further details, along with FAQs and application form, please follow the below link to 'More Information'.

Completed application forms should be emailed to no later than 9am (EST) on 24th July 2017. Upon submission you will receive an acknowledgement that your application has been received.


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