Museum InfoMedia Room

DIA exterior at night
DIA exterior at night

Accomplished Scholar Awarded Coveted Alain Locke Award at the DIA

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Dr. Lowery Stokes Sims, president of the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City, and accomplished art historian and author will receive the Detroit Institute of Arts’ (DIA) 14th annual Alain Locke Award in the international category. Sims will also give a talk on Afro-Cuban surrealist Wifredo Lam. Other individuals who will receive a recognition award are: Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton, Detroit School of Arts principal and founder; Esther Gordy Edwards, Motown Museum founder; and Judge Damon Keith, cultural arts advocate. 

Established in 1992 by the DIA auxiliary Friends of African and African American Art, the Alain Locke Award is bestowed upon individuals who are dedicated to the promotion and understanding of African American artistic culture. The recipients must have exhibited exemplary courage, commitment and leadership in promoting African American culture.    

Sunday, Feb. 19, 2 p.m.

Sims is acclaimed for her scholarly contributions to the field of modern and contemporary art. She has received numerous awards and honorary degrees and was on the jury to select the design for the World Trade Center memorial.

Sims has expertise in the study of American artists of African, Native, Latin and Asian descent. The talk she will give at the award ceremony relates to her book “Wifredo Lam and the International Avant-Garde, 1932–1982”.  Lam’s great achievement was to combine cubism and surrealism with symbols and motifs related to African religions in Cuba.  Sims will look at Lam’s work in the 30s and 40s, as well as his artistic progression through the 1970s as his career expanded in Cuba, Latin America, the United States and Europe.

The Detroit Institute of Arts’ Lecture Hall, 5200 Woodward Avenue, Detroit.

Free with museum admission.

This award is named after Dr. Alain Locke, a philosopher, scholar and writer recognized for his leadership in the New Negro Movement and the Harlem Renaissance. Locke encouraged African American artists to explore their African roots through their work, and guided them in their exploration of modernism, which yielded many notable contributions by African American artists to 20th-century art.

Programs are made possible with support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the City of Detroit.

# # #

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA's collection is known for its quality, range and depth.

The DIA is currently undergoing a major renovation, scheduled for completion in late 2007. The museum remains open with a dynamic schedule of programs and activities for all ages. Visitors can enjoy some of the DIA’s “greatest hits” while the museum prepares for an entirely new installation when renovations are completed.