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Previous Clark Prize Recipients

The 2010 Clark Prize was awarded to Hal Foster, who has served since 2000 as the Townsend Martin 1917 Professor of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. He is a former staff critic for Artforum (1977-81) and Senior Editor for Art in America (1981-87), founding editor of Zone magazine and books (1985-92) and editor of October magazine and books (1991-present). He is also the author of books including Art Since 1900: Modernism, Anti-Modernism, Postmodernism (2004, with Rosalind Krauss, Yve-Alain Bois and Benjamin Buchloh), Prosthetic Gods, concerning the relation between modernism and psychoanalysis (2004) and Design and Crime (And Other Diatribes) (2002). He regularly contributes to the London Review of Books, Los Angeles Times Book Review, October and New Left Review and has been the recipient of Guggenheim and CASVA Fellowships. He was named a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2010.

Foster was selected by an esteemed three-member jury:
• Iwona Blazwick, Director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
• Bruce W. Ferguson, independent curator and critic
• András Szántó, Senior Lecturer at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York

Members of the jury were chosen for their long-standing commitment to the arts and their expertise in the field. Jurors for the Clark Prize serve as both nominators and judges. Individuals engaged in all forms of arts writing, including criticism, commentary, monographs, catalogue essays, and biography, are eligible for nomination.

The prize was presented by Glenn D. Lowry, Director of the Museum of Modern Art, a native of Williamstown and a graduate of Williams College. The Clark Prize is accompanied by a $25,000 honorarium and an award designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando, who is leading the Clark’s campus enhancement project. The prize is funded by the Beinecke Family through the Prospect Hill Foundation.

The Clark Prize is awarded every other year.

The 2008 Clark Prize was awarded to Peter Schjeldahl, art critic of The New Yorker since 1998. Prior to that he was a regular art critic for The Sunday New York Times, The Village Voice, and ARTnews. Let’s See: Writings on Art from The New Yorker was published by Thames & Hudson in May 2008. Early books of criticism include The Hydrogen Jukebox: Selected Writings, 1991, University of California Press. Schjeldahl also published five books of poetry between 1967 and 1981. He has taught at Harvard University and has received a Guggenheim fellowship and the Frank Jewett Mather Award for excellence in art criticism from the College Art Association.

Winners of the 2006 inaugural Clark Prize were:

  • Kobena Mercer, whose work on the politics of representation in the visual arts has opened new paths of critical inquiry and allowed for the entry of new voices into the discourse of visual culture. Mercer’s critiques and investigations of sexuality and the African Diaspora have made him a leading theorist in identity politics. And his publications, from anthologies like Art and Its Histories: A Reader to his recent essay “Iconography After Identity,” have helped lead to a view of the arts and culture that is distinctly richer, more diverse, and more globally aware.
  • Linda Nochlin, an art historian, critic, and curator who has been a defining voice in feminist art theory and nineteenth-century scholarship for over forty years. From her groundbreaking monograph on Realism to the revolutionary essay "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" to her contributions to Art in America and her lectures and teaching, Dr. Nochlin has distinguished herself as an indispensable force in art discourse.
  • Calvin Tomkins, who, in his more than half-century as a writer and critic for The New Yorker, has been a prolific contributor of intelligent, influential, and accessible writings on art and artists. His essays and profiles on artists from Marcel Duchamp and Robert Rauschenberg (Off the Wall: Robert Rauschenberg and the Art World of Our Time) to Matthew Barney are clear and timely reports that have aided the general reader to a greater understanding of modern American culture and major avant-garde figures in the arts.