Announcing Solomon B. Hayden Fellowship for Art History
29 June 2020
Lisson Gallery is taking action to ensure our staff, working practices and programme live up to the diversity of our communities. We are committed to contributing to a lasting transformation – from historic and continued under-representation of and discrimination against BIPOC people, to a fair and inclusive society, economy and culture. The gallery will undertake – alongside our internal re-evaluation of practices – an extended series of public discussions to draw on the experience, knowledge and skills of artists, curators and scholars, to inform our own activity and to share as widely as possible.
On the basis of initial discussions with our artists, we wish to use the resources and networks of Lisson Gallery – through our galleries in London, New York and Shanghai – to increase opportunities to build and share knowledge and understanding.
As an immediate action, taking the lead from artist Hugh Hayden, the Gallery's senior leadership – Nicholas Logsdail (Chairman) , Alex Logsdail (Executive Director) and Greg Hilty (Curatorial Director) – are jointly making an equal personal financial contribution to diverse candidates wishing to pursue a career in art history and/or curation. Initially, this will be through support for a Master’s programme at Columbia University in New York City, where Hugh himself was a student until graduating with an MFA in 2018. In recognition of his passion for this initiative, the fellowship will be titled after his father, Solomon B. Hayden.
This inaugural Solomon B. Hayden Fellowship will be awarded to a deserving student in the MA in Modern and Contemporary Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies (MODA) program at the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences this autumn. Funds will be awarded by Columbia University's Department of Art History and Archaeology to joining or rising students of this two-year course who are socioeconomically disadvantaged, have experience living or working in diverse environments and/or who have demonstrated experience in or commitment to working with historically underserved or underprivileged populations. Additional preference will be given to those who exhibit demonstrated leadership in and support for the African-American and African diaspora communities.
The longer term aim, beyond this immediate pledge, is to award annual scholarships in New York and London. It is our intention to also provide mentorship and placement at different gallery locations and with artists and related partners, to provide better access to the industry. We are conscious of the continuing protests and calls to action and have so far donated to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, The Bail Project and Black Lives Matter in the US. However, the gallery believes that the drive for equality should begin with education in our own domain and that the wider art community has a long way to go in terms of collective accountability in this regard.
Statement from Hugh Hayden:
"I am proud to establish this fellowship in honor of my late father, Solomon B. Hayden, who encouraged and instilled in my brother and me an enduring ethic to aim high, to follow our dreams whatever they may be, no matter how difficult and to always give 110%”
Statement from Columbia:
"In these times when the importance of recognizing, celebrating and protecting under-represented voices in the arts is at the forefront of conversation, it gives us great pride that Columbia’s program has for decades been the home to impressive students from diverse backgrounds. Columbia’s highly-committed faculty, its setting within a global research university and the important location in New York, are key reasons students from all backgrounds seek to matriculate."