The Brendan Gill Prize, endowed to permit a cash award, is given each year to the creator of a specific work—a book, essay, musical composition, play, painting, sculpture, architectural design, film or choreographic piece—that best captures the spirit and energy of New York City. Whether the nominated individual or group is well known or just emerging, the goal of the Gill Prize is to draw attention to the varieties of artistic experience that enrich our contemporary life.
The prize was established in 1987 in honor of Brendan Gill by friend and fellow MAS board member Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis along with board members Helen Tucker and Margot Wellington. The selection of the winner is made by the Brendan Gill jury, an esteemed group of people intimately involved in the arts and culture of the city.
MAS is delighted to announce that artist Kara Walker has been named the honoree of the 2015 Brendan Gill Prize. The Gill Prize, dedicated to renowned New Yorker theater critic and former MAS President Brendan Gill (1914-1997), was established in 1986 to be given annually for a work of art that embodies the spirit of New York City.
For two summer months in 2014, Kara Walker turned a ruin from New York’s industrial past into a vast gallery of collective memory. Organized by Creative Time, Walker’s grand-scale public art installation at the Domino Sugar Refinery in Williamsburg, inspired audiences to consider an important and painful history and be inspired by a great ephemeral work of art.