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Bard College Faculty Members Win Celebrated Guggenheim Fellowships

Michael F. Brenson and Sigrid Sandström Are Awarded for their Respective Work in Biography and Fine Arts

Mark Primoff
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Two Bard faculty members—Michael F. Brenson, faculty of the Center for Curatorial Studies (CCS–Bard) and the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, and Sigrid Sandström, assistant professor of studio art, are among the 191 winners of the 2008 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation’s 84th annual competition for the United States and Canada. Brenson and Sandström were awarded Guggenheim Fellowships for their work in biography and fine arts respectively.

The diverse fellowship recipients include artists, scholars, and scientists selected from 2,615 applicants in 75 different fields, from natural science to creative arts, for awards totaling $8.2 million. Fellows are chosen on the basis of distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment.

Michael F. Brenson, faculty member of CCS–Bard and Bard’s Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, was an art critic at the New York Times from 1982 to 1991 and has been writing about art and artists for more three decades. He received his B.A. from Rutgers University, and an M.A. in creative writing and a Ph.D. in art history from Johns Hopkins University. He has curated exhibitions of Magdalena Abakanowicz, P.S. 1 (1993); Ryoji Koie, Gallery at Takashimaya (1994); and Jonathan Silver, Sculpture Center (1995). Brenson’s publications include Visionaries and Outcasts: The NEA, Congress, and the Place of the Visual Artist in America (2001); Sol LeWit: Concrete Block Structures (2002); and Acts of Engagement: Writings on Art, Criticism, and Institutions, 1993–2002 (2004). He is the author of museum catalogue essays on Elizabeth Catlett, Mel Edwards, Alberto Giacometti, Maya Lin, Juan Munoz, Martin Puryear, and David Smith; as well as numerous other essays on modern and contemporary sculpture, public art, and contemporary art and its institutions. He is currently working on a biography of David Smith.

Sigrid Sandström, assistant professor of studio art at Bard College since 2005, is a painter. Born in 1970 in Stockholm, Sweden, she studied at the Cooper Union School of Art, New York, and received a B.F.A. from Academie Minerva, Groningen, the Netherlands, and an M.F.A. in painting from Yale University. Sandström has had recent solo exhibitions at Edward Thorp Gallery in New York (2007), Galleri Gunnar Olsson in Stockholm (2007), Inman Gallery in Houston (2006), Frye Art Museum in Seattle (2006), and Mills College Art Museum in Oakland, (2005). She has shown work in group exhibitions at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Hales Gallery in London, and Sara Meltzer Gallery in New York, among others. She was an artist in residence in the Core Program at The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Glassell School of Art (2001–03) and the recipient of an Artadia Grant. She has taught at Yale, Massachusetts College of Art, and The Royal University College of Art in Stockholm.

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has granted more than $265 million in fellowships to more than 16,500 individuals since 1925. Scores of Nobel, Pulitzer, and other prizewinners appear on the roll of fellows, which includes Ansel Adams, W. H. Auden, Aaron Copland, Martha Graham, Langston Hughes, Henry Kissinger, Vladimir Nabokov, Isamu Noguchi, Philip Roth, Derek Walcott, and Eudora Welty. The full list of 2008 fellows may be viewed at

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This event was last updated on 10-07-2008