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26 Aug 2021

Sadé Ayorinde Joins the American Folk Art Museum

(New York, August 26, 2021) — The American Folk Art Museum (AFAM) announced today that Sadé Ayorinde is the inaugural appointee of the Warren Family Curatorial Fellowship. For a two-year period beginning in September 2021, Ayorinde will contribute to a range of projects relating to the Museum’s collection, publications, and exhibitions.

Commented Jason T. Busch, AFAM Director and CEO: “Sadé Ayroinde’s appointment and the support of Irwin and Liz Warren combine to further the Museum’s commitment to advancing research. Through collaboration with scholars like Sadé, AFAM can continue its efforts to be an innovative and inclusive forum for art and ideas.”

In both her scholarship and curatorial projects, Ayorinde contextualizes the production and reception of images, putting art in conversation with mass media output to broaden understandings of current and historical events. As a published writer, Ayorinde’s articles have focused on African American art and representation in nineteenth and twentieth-century visual culture. She was curator of The Invisible Man: Representations of Black Masculinity (2014) and Shotgun Wedding (2014) and co-curator of Wake the Form: Artist Books in Context (2017), Revolution (2016), and Boundaries: The Permeability of Social Constructs (2013).

“I am eager to share my interest in African American art, my knowledge of early American cultural production, and my museum experience with the team at AFAM,” said Ayorinde.

Throughout the two-year period of the fellowship, Ayorinde, who holds degrees from the University of Nebraska and is a PhD candidate at Cornell University, will work with Emelie Gevalt, Curatorial Chair for Collections and Curator of Folk Art, on Unnamed Figures: Black Presence and Absence in Early American Vernacular Art. This exhibition will open in 2023 and explores African American representation and marginalization in early American art and material culture.

“We are delighted to welcome Sadé,” said Gevalt. “Her work represents innovative thinking in the study of African American representation especially as it relates to issues of visibility, scale, and masculinity. I look forward to collaborating with her on multiple projects in the next two years.”

About the Warren Family Curatorial Fellowship

With generous funding from Irwin Warren and Museum President Elizabeth V. Warren, this fellowship fosters the advancement of an individual who will work with Museum staff on exhibitions and exhibition plans, collection development, and scholarly publications.

About the American Folk Art Museum

The American Folk Art Museum engages people of all backgrounds through its collections, exhibitions, publications, and programs as the leading forum shaping the understanding and appreciation of folk and self-taught art across time and place. The Museum is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2021.