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Emilie Gordenker, Director of the Mauritshuis, Joins the Sotheby’s Prize Jury

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EMILIE GORDENKER, OLD MASTER SCHOLAR AND DIRECTOR OF THE MAURITSHUIS , HAS JOINED THE 2018 SOTHEBY’S PRIZE JURY.

The Sotheby’s Prize enters its second year with the exciting announcement that Emilie Gordenker, Old Master scholar and Director of the Mauritshuis in The Hague, has joined the Prize selection jury. She will join current jurors Connie Butler, Chief Curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; Donna De Salvo, Senior Curator at the Whitney Museum Of American Art; Okwui Enwezor, the highly regarded curator and critic; Allan Schwartzman, Founder of Art Agency, Partners; and Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England.

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Created in 2017, the Sotheby’s Prize is an annual award of up to $250,000 that will be presented to a museum to provide critical funding to help realize an innovative exhibition that otherwise would not be possible. In its inaugural year, the Prize was award to two exhibitions that will powerfully convey lesser-known narratives in modern and contemporary art.  

As a jury, this year we hope for more applications from Europe and covering a broader range of art history.
Allan Schwartzman, Sotheby's Prize juror and founder of Art Agency, Partners

This year the Prize committee hopes for expanded pool of applications, representing a wide range of geographies as well also historical eras. The appointment of Gordenker – with her significant scholarly knowledge of 17th-century Dutch and Flemish painting – signals the jury’s commitment to supporting a broad spectrum of curatorial visions. 

“As a jury, this year we hope for more applications from Europe and covering a broader range of art history. I feel that Emilie’s presence on the jury will help telegraph this aim, and that she is uniquely placed to guide us on the historical applications we hope to receive as well as shed new light on applications covering more recent periods,” says Allan Schwartzman, Chair of the Sotheby's Prize.

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Gordenker earned her doctorate from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University in 1998 and her thesis, Van Dyck and the Representation of Dress in Seventeenth-Century Portraiture, was published in 2001 by Brepols Publishers, Turnhout, Belgium. In New York, she worked with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frick Collection and the Netherlands Institute for Art History.

Relocating to London, Gordenker spent several years with companies that explore the emerging intersection between new technologies, art history and museums. In 2003, she was appointed Senior Curator of Early Netherlandish, Dutch and Flemish Art at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh, where she curated an important exhibition on Adam Elsheimer, a relatively little-known but enormously influential Old Master Dutch artist whom Peter Paul Rubens admired greatly.

In my experience it can be difficult to garner funding for projects that are truly innovative, involve taking risks or focus on an area that has not previously been well established. The Sotheby’s Prize can kick start exhibitions that might otherwise not get off the ground.
Emilie Gordenker, Director of the Mauritshuis and new member of the 2018 Sotheby's Prize jury.

Made Director of the Mauritshuis in 2008, she curated the first exhibition of a living artist in the museum's 200-year history: Verso with Vik Muniz, which is currently on view the Belvedere Museum Vienna. At the moment, Gordenker is organizing what promises to be a innovative exhibition of work by Johannes Vermeer in collaboration with tech-giant Google. The exhibition will showcase the artist’s entire oeuvre through high-resolution images and technologically driven storytelling. With her extensive and ground-breaking curatorial experience, Gordenker knows firsthand the support necessary to bring an exhibition to fruition.

“It can be difficult to garner funding for projects that are truly innovative, involve taking risks or focus on an area that has not previously been well established. The Sotheby’s Prize can kick start exhibitions that might otherwise not get off the ground,” says Gordenker “I would like to see a great project emerge that reaches back to incorporate Old Masters or even older art.”

To learn more about the Sotheby’s Prize, click here. All applications for the 2018 Prize must be received by Saturday, 30 June 2018. If you have additional questions, please contact prize@sothebys.com.

Click here to apply for the Sotheby's Prize. 

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