City Life Org – National Portrait Gallery Announces Winner of 2022 Director’s Essay Award for Portrait Scholars

Credit: Tiffany E. Barbier. Photo by Jawara King

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery announced that Tiffany E. Barber, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of African Studies and Art History at the University of Delaware, has won the 2022 Director’s Essay Award His essay “Narcissister, a Truly Kinky Artist,” published in art reviewof Spring 2020, was chosen for its interdisciplinary contributions to the fields of art, biography, history, and American cultural identity.

Founded in 2019, the Director’s Essay Prize encourages cutting-edge research in the field of visual biography and American portraiture. The 2022 Director’s Essay Prize was awarded by PORTAL, the University Center of the Portrait Gallery. His advisors include John Stauffer, Ph.D., Harvard University; Rebecca VanDiver, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University; and ShiPu Wang, Ph.D., University of California, Merced.

“We were impressed by Barber’s groundbreaking analysis of the body of work of Narcissister,” the jurors said. “It is an immensely original essay, deeply researched and written with panache. We have admired the way in which Narcissister radically revises the “uses of the body” in contemporary performance art by questioning, according to its text, “the restorative expectations of art, activism and multiculturalism in the post-civil rights era”.

Barber is an internationally renowned scholar, curator, and critic whose writings and expert commentary have appeared in award-winning scholarly journals, media, and documentaries. Her work, which spans abstraction, dance, fashion, feminism, film and the ethics of representation, focuses on black diaspora artists working in the United States and the wider Atlantic world. . She has earned fellowships at ArtTable, the Delaware Art Museum, the Carter G. Woodson Institute of African American and African Studies at the University of Virginia, and the Getty Research Institute, and is currently curator-in-residence at Delaware. Contemporary.

“To be nominated and awarded for this prestigious award for my art review essay on Narcissister is a huge honor and a testament to the National Portrait Gallery‘s commitment to pushing the boundaries of portraiture,” said Barber. “As a historian of contemporary black diaspora art and performance, I am thrilled to have my fellowship recognized in this way! »

Barber will present “Black Women’s Visual Alterity,” a paper related to her dissertation topic, at the awards ceremony on Friday, September 9 at 5 p.m. in the National Portrait Gallery‘s Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium, Eighth and G Streets , Washington, D.C.

The Director’s Essay Award complements The Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, a triennial juried exhibition of contemporary art established in 2006. The award is specifically dedicated to supporting the next wave of written scholarship on portraiture. .

National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the multifaceted history of the United States through the individuals who have shaped American culture. Spanning the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives tell the story of the nation.

The National Portrait Gallery is located at Eighth and G Streets NW, Washington, DC. It is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visitors enter and exit through the G Street entrance. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000. Connect with the museum at, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Julia P. Cluff