February 5, 2017

Annette Lemieux: Maud Morgan Prize 2017

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Awards 2017 Maud Morgan Prize, Honoring a Massachusetts Woman Artist, to Annette Lemieux

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), announced that Boston-based ANNETTE LEMIEUX (born 1957) is the recipient of its 2017 Maud Morgan Prize, which honors a Massachusetts woman artist who has demonstrated creativity and vision, and who has made significant contributions to the contemporary arts landscape. Ranging from painting to photography to found-object assemblage, Lemieux’s conceptual works confront urgent subjects such as the horror of war, the nature of time, the elusive truth of memory and the relationship between personal experience and cultural history. Currently a Senior Lecturer on Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University, she has influenced younger generations of artists as a teacher for more than 20 years. The Museum has collected Annette Lemieux’s works since the late 1980s, cultivating a sustained belief in her practice. As part of the Prize, the artist will receive a $10,000 award, and an exhibition of her work will be presented at the MFA in the summer.

“Annette is fearless about tackling timely socio-political issues in her artwork. She is a careful observer of the world and a thoughtful commentator on important issues of our time,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director of the MFA. “We look forward to working closely with her and sharing her voice with a wide and appreciative public.”

Born in Norfolk, Virginia, Annette Lemieux received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford in 1980. After graduation, she spent a decade in New York City, working as an assistant for artist David Salle and becoming part of a burgeoning scene of appropriation artists—alongside Sarah Charlesworth, Barbara Kruger and Cindy Sherman—who frequently incorporated text, images, objects and symbols from mass media and pop culture into their work. Her work was featured in the Whitney Biennial in 1987 and 2000, as well as the Venice Biennale in 1990.

Annette Lemieux is the recipient of awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation Fellowship, Brown University and the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum in Germany. In 2009 she received an honorary doctorate in fine arts from Montserrat College of Art. Her work has been exhibited internationally and acquired by museums across the United States and Europe. In addition to the MFA, these include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, Art Institute of Chicago, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Tel Aviv Museum of Art and more. Lemieux’s critically acclaimed projects include solo exhibitions Unfinished Business (2012) at Harvard University’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts and the mid-career survey The Strange Life of Objects: The Art of Annette Lemieux (2010) at the Worcester Art Museum.

Al Miner, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, will collaborate with Annette Lemieux on her solo 2017 exhibition at the MFA marking the award of the Maud Morgan Prize.

“Annette has long been an admired and beloved fixture in the region’s art scene,” said Al Miner. “I’m thrilled to be working with an artist so deserving of this distinction. And I especially look forward to introducing audiences to recent MFA acquisitions and to debuting her exciting new body of work, which evidences her staying power.”


Established at the Museum in 1993, the Maud Morgan Prize honors the recipient with a cash award and an MFA presentation of her work. The $10,000 prize is given biennially to a Massachusetts woman who has worked as an artist for at least 10 years, who has demonstrated creativity and vision, and who has made significant contributions to the contemporary arts landscape. In addition to recommendations by MFA curators, nominations are solicited from a broad cross-section of contemporary curators from throughout the Commonwealth. This year’s process involved 25 nominating organizations—more than in any previous year—and resulted in five finalists. After submissions were reviewed, finalists were chosen by a committee of MFA curators, and visits were made to the artists’ studios. Committee members selected Annette Lemieux, a decision endorsed by MFA Director Matthew Teitelbaum.

The committee included Al Miner (Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art), Jen Mergel (Robert L. Beal, Enid L. Beal and Bruce A. Beal Senior Curator of Contemporary Art), Liz Munsell (Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art and Special Initiatives, a position supported by Lorraine Bressler), Emily Zilber (Ronald C. and Anita L. Wornick Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts), Kathryn Gunsch (Teel Curator of African and Oceanic Art) and Patrick Murphy (Lia and William Poorvu Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings and Supervisor, Morse Study Room).

Previous winners of the Maud Morgan Prize include Marilyn Arsem, Sarah Braman, Wendy Jacob, Ambreen Butt, Shelley Reed, Jill Weber, Ranee Palone Flynn, Suara Welitoff, Laura Chasman, Shellburne Thurber, Catherine McCarthy, Kendra Ferguson, Elsbeth Deser, Bonnie Porter, Natalie Alper, and Jo Ann Rothschild.

MAUD MORGAN (1903 - 1999)

During her most active years as an artist and instructor in Massachusetts, Maud Morgan represented a voice of recognition for women committed to a career in the arts. She was associated with some of the most distinguished artists of the 1930s and studied at the Art Students League in New York with Hans Hoffman. Morgan exhibited with the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York in the company of Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko before instructing students of studio art, including Frank Stella and Carl Andre, with her then-husband, painter Patrick Morgan, at Abbot Academy and Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. At the age of 92, she published her autobiography, Maud’s Journey: A Life from Art. Throughout her career, Morgan was a source of inspiration for many artists, young and old.