The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, North Carolina were voted winners of the competition following applications from 92 institutions in 15 countries across the world featuring a what Sotheby’s described as “a diverse range of artists in terms of geography, race, gender, and sexuality”.
The winning exhibitions are Many Tongues: Art, Language, and Revolution in the Middle East and South Asia in Chicago and Pop América: 1965-1975 at Duke University.
The prize will be officially awarded by the Sotheby’s International Council at a celebratory dinner in New York on November 3.
Chairman and executive vice president of Sotheby’s Allan Schwartzman said: “Each of the exhibitions we selected is dedicated to artists who, until recently, would have been considered peripheral to the mainstream story of the history of art, each representing a different cultural heritage and perspective. The exhibitions all originate at American museums, but are dedicated to art from around the world.”
Three runners-up will receive $10,000 each. These are:
Ree Morton: The Plant That Heals May Also Poison at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (September-December 2018)
Augusta Savage: Artist-Community-Activist at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Jacksonville, Florida (October 2018-April 2019)
Native North America at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas (October 2018-January 2019)
Among the judges were Arts Council England chairman Sir Nicholas Serota and Okwui Enwezor, director of the Haus der Kunst museum in Munich.
Launched in May this year, the Sotheby’s Prize will become an annual award to support and encourage museums to break new ground.