With a last name like Golden, it isn't hard to believe that this woman is precious. I first began to identify her by the eye-catching style that is all her own -her usage of silhouette and print is uncanny! However, it was when I began to explore her career as a curator that she became a personal inspiration. She was the first Black curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art and worked tirelessly to embrace her moment, bringing art with a varied perspective to the masses. In 1994, Thelma spearheaded the popular Whitney exhibit Black Male. It looked at the way Black masculinity was observed in the art world. Following the successful exhibition, she returned to the Studio Harlem of Museum in 2000 as a member of the curatorial team. She's been there since the early aughts but moved vertically into the role of museum director. To my surprise, taking the helm meant more than merely overseeing the artwork that graced the walls. To Thelma Golden, her directorship is about presenting young, excited, Black artists the opportunity to be a catalyst for social shift and change.
Below is a video from her Ted Talks in which she elaborates about why and how art, specifically black art, promotes change.