Frieze Foundation


Thelma Golden

Director and Chief Curator, The Studio Museum in Harlem

Thelma Golden has been the Director and Chief Curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem since 2000. She has organized a number of exhibitions, including ‘Chris Ofili: Afro Muses 1995-2005’, ‘harlemworld: Metropolis as Metaphor’, ‘Black Romantic’ and ‘Isaac Julien: Vagabondia’ among many others. Before her appointment, she was the Special Projects Curator for Peter and Eileen Norton, contemporary art collectors and philanthropists based in Los Angeles, California. Prior to working with the Nortons, Golden was a curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. At the Whitney, she was Curator from 1996-1998, Associate Curator and Director of Branch Museums from 1993-1996, and from 1991-1993 she was Director and Exhibition Coordinator at the Whitney Museum at Phillip Morris. At the Whitney Museum, Golden organized many exhibitions including the 1993 Biennial Exhibition (directed by Elisabeth Sussman); ‘Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary Art’ (1994-1995) and ‘Bob Thompson: A Retrospective’ (1998) among others. At the Whitney @ Philip Morris, she conceived and organized a site-specific commissioning program and organized 18 projects with artists, including Alison Saar, Glenn Ligon, Gary Simmons, Romare Bearden, Matthew McCaslin, Suzanne McClelland, Y. David Chung, Lorna Simpson, Jacob Lawrence and Leone & MacDonald. Golden teaches and lectures at several institutions internationally including Columbia University, Yale University and the Royal College of Art in London. Golden is also a prolific writer and has contributed essays to publications about Lorna Simpson, Carrie Mae Weems, Bill T. Jones, Kara Walker, and Glenn Ligon.

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