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Dr. Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, C’93, Named to Best of Atlanta 2018 List

December 2018

andrea brownleeAtlanta Magazine recently named Spelman College's Museum of Fine Art director Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, Ph.D., C’93, Best Curator of the Year.

“As director of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Andrea Barnwell Brownlee brings remarkable female artists from the African diaspora to Atlanta,” magazine editors write.


Dr. Barnwell Brownlee, is an art historian, curator and writer. She is widely recognized for her leadership, ambitious vision, and the impactful exhibition agenda that she has established at Spelman College. Exhibitions including iona rozeal brown: a³ . . . black on both sides (2004), Amalia Amaki: Boxes, Buttons and the Blues (2005), Hale Woodruff, Nancy Elizabeth Prophet and the Academy (2007), Cinema Remixed & Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image Since 1970 (2007), María Magdalena Campos-Pons: Dreaming of an Island (2008), Undercover: Performing and Transforming Black Female Identities (2009), and IngridMwangiRobertHutter: Constant Triumph (2011) are among the projects that she has curated and co-curated. In 2011, she spearheaded 15 x 15 — an initiative to acquire 15 works of art in celebration of the Museum’s 15th anniversary.

An Award-Winning Visionary

Dr. Brownlee is the recipient of the 2013 David C. Driskell Prize in African American Art and Art History. She has also received several other academic, professional, and scholarly awards including a MacArthur Curatorial Fellowship in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Art Institute of Chicago (1998 – 2000), a Future Women Leadership Award from Art Table (2005), the President’s Award from the Women’s Caucus for Art (2005), and the inaugural Nexus Award from the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center (2010). Dr. Brownlee, a Spelman alumna, earned her Ph.D. in Art History from Duke University in 2001.

She is a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors, and an alumna of the Getty Leadership Institute. She has served on the boards of several arts organizations including the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences and the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund and currently serves on the board of WonderRoot. In 2008, the Honorable Shirley Franklin selected Dr. Brownlee to be the vice chair of the city of Atlanta Arts Funding Task Force.

In the spring of 2012, Cinema Remixed & Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image Since 1970, which she curated with Valerie Cassel Oliver, senior curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, earned international recognition when it was featured in the 11th Havana Biennial. This achievement marks the first time that a curatorial team from the United States was invited to participate in the official program of the Havana Biennial—the longest running international biennial dedicated to presenting works of art from Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

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