Moore is pleased to announce that Judith Tannenbaum will be this year’s Commencement speaker and will be receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the College. Tannenbaum was named The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum’s first curator of contemporary art in 2000. In 2002, she became the Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art, the Museum’s first endowed position, which she held until 2013. She recently relocated to Philadelphia but continues her connection to RISD as Adjunct Curator. Moore’s 165th Commencement will be held on Sunday, May 18 at 11 am in Aviator Park, across from the College.
Tannenbaum has organized numerous exhibitions focusing on painting, sculpture, video, and interdisciplinary work--with a particular interest in connections between visual art and performance and relationships among fine art, craft, and design. Exhibitions and publications for RISD include Arlene Shechet: Meissen Recast (2014), Painting Air: Spencer Finch (2012); Lynda Benglis (2010); Styrofoam (2008); Beth Lipman: After You’re Gone (2008); Wunderground: Providence, 1995 to the present (2006); Betty Woodman: Il Giardino dipinto (2005); Island Nations: New Art from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and the Diaspora (2004); On the Wall: Wallpaper by Contemporary Artists (2003); and Jim Isermann: Logic Rules (2000).
From 1986 to 2000, Tannenbaum served variously as curator, associate director, and interim director at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. As interim director of ICA in 1989-90, she became the spokesperson for the defense of public funding for the arts and artistic freedom in relation to the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition originated by ICA. Among the shows she curated for ICA are: Glenn Ligon:Unbecoming (1998), PerForms (1995) featuring the work of Janine Antoni, Charles Ray, and Jana Sterbak; Vija Celmins (1992), a retrospective exhibition that toured nationally; and Interactions (1991), a large group shows about collaborations between the visual and performing arts.
In January, 2014, Tannenbaum was honored by the Frick Center for the History of Collecting for her contribution to the book Get There First, Decide Promptly: The Richard Brown Baker Collection of Postwar Art (Yale University Art Gallery/Yale University Press, 2011). The book won the Sotheby’s Book Prize for a Distinguished Publication on the History of Collecting in America.