Center for Curatorial Leadership Announces 2021 Fellows

2021 Fellowship_Composite Image (JPG)

The 2021 Center for Curatorial Leadership Fellows. Top row from left: Margaret Adler, Tahnee Atoneharjo-Growingthunder, Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Adrienne Edwards, Kathryn Wysocki Gunsch, Shawnya Harris, Humberto Moro, Veronica Roberts, Jamaal B. Sheats, Anne Collins Smith, Catherine Taft, and Lanka Tattersall. 

The Center for Curatorial Leadership (CCL) is pleased to announce the fourteenth cohort of curators participating in its annual Fellowship. Following a record number of applications, the review process continued to prove highly competitive. Twelve curators were selected based on their exceptional curatorial achievements, demonstrated innovative thinking, and commitment to advancing the field.

The 2021 Fellows join CCL from twelve museums across the United States and Mexico–from large-scale encyclopedic museums, non-collecting contemporary art centers, museums on the campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, culturally specific institutions, and regional museums with focused areas of expertise. The group represents a spectrum of institutional contexts. Nine of the twelve Fellows join from an institution that has never before had a curator participate in CCL. Embarking on the six-month program, the Fellows bring with them a range of art historical expertise, including historic American art, contemporary African American art, performance and new media, Native American art, and historic African art. With outstanding careers to date, each member of the 2021 cohort has demonstrated scholarly work that expands the boundaries of their field of study, creates opportunities for partnership and collaboration, and seeks to forward the idea of what 21st-century museums can and should be. The diversity of scholarship, institution type, and geographic context will make for rich discussions about the role and responsibilities of museums.

Adjusted to assure the health and safety of all participants in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 program will be primarily virtual. Fellows will benefit from the same rigorous instruction that characterizes each year of the CCL program, learning from each other and a network of established leaders. The Fellows will take part in a custom-designed Columbia Business School curriculum, and mentorship will remain at the heart of the program. Connecting this diverse network of museum professionals in a program that encompasses coursework, practical hands-on exercises, opportunities for pointed discussion of current issues, one-on-one mentorship, and facilitation for new projects, the CCL Fellowship is a unique opportunity for multifaceted learning that is not possible within a single institution. Taking advantage of an online format, CCL looks forward to introducing the Fellows to an even broader selection of curators, trustees, museum directors, and cultural leaders over the course of the six months. 

During the 2021 CCL Fellowship, the newly selected curators will build the skills, tools, and experiences necessary to engage with the changing museum landscape and to assume and succeed in leadership positions. The Fellowship will emphasize multidisciplinary approaches to leadership and self-knowledge and consider the social responsibility of museums. We are proud of the accomplishments that these 12 curators have achieved to date and are eager for the possibilities for museum leadership that they represent. It is with this sense of promise and excitement that CCL welcomes these 12 curators to our growing network of museum leaders across the world.

Congratulations to the CCL Class of 2021!


Class of 2021

Margaret Adler, Curator of Paintings, Sculpture, and Works on Paper, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, TX

Tahnee Ahtoneharjo- Growingthunder, Curator of American Indian Collections & Textiles, Oklahoma History Center; Curator/Director, Kiowa Tribal Museum, Oklahoma City, OK

Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Chief Curator, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, St. Louis, MO

Adrienne Edwards, Engell Speyer Family Curator and Curator of Performance, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

Kathryn Wysocki Gunsch, Director of Collections, Department Head and Teel Curator for the Art of Africa and Oceania, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, MA

Shawnya Harris, Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Curator of African American and African Diasporic Art, Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA

Humberto Moro, Deputy Director and Senior Curator, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico

Veronica Roberts, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX

Jamaal B. Sheats, Director and Curator, Carl Van Vechten Art Gallery, Fisk University Galleries, Nashville, TN

Anne Collins Smith, Curator of Collections, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, GA

Catherine Taft, Deputy Director & Curator, Los Angeles, CA

Lanka Tattersall, Curator, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY


For more information about the 2021 Fellows, click here.

Emma Payne
Center for Curatorial Leadership