Skip to main content

Medal Award

Lorna Simpson, Medal Award Recipient, with SMFA at Tufts Students at the 2018 Gala

On May 14, 2018, SMFA at Tufts and Medal Gala co-chairs Lorraine Bressler and Judi Ritchie were proud to recognize 2018’s Medal Award recipient, Lorna Simpson.

One of the leading artists of her generation, Lorna Simpson’s groundbreaking interdisciplinary work on gender, identity, social justice, and civic practice resonates deeply with our students, faculty, and broader community and epitomizes SMFA's educational values and priorities.

About the Medal Award

Established in 1996, the SMFA Medal Award celebrates creative excellence in visual art, art history, and arts advocacy. Past recipients include James Turrell (2016), Mona Hatoum (2015), John Baldessari (2014), and Sarah Sze (2013). Each year at the end of the spring semester, SMFA celebrates the Medal Award recipient by holding a dinner event at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston to bring together students, faculty, curators, alumni, art advocates, and community members.

About the Artist

Lorna Simpson came to prominence in the 1980's through her pioneering approach to conceptual photography. Simpson’s striking juxtapositions of text and staged images raised questions about the nature of representation, identity, gender, race, and history; concerns that are reflected in the artist’s expanding and multi-disciplinary practice today. Her works have been exhibited at and are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Haus der Kunst; Munich amongst others. Important international exhibitions have included the Hugo Boss Prize at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, Documenta XI in Kassel, Germany, and the 56th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy.

Call for Student Work

During the Medal Award Gala, a juried collection of student works will be displayed in the MFA’s Sharf Visitor Center as part of a highly-anticipated silent auction. All selected works will be up for bid by hundreds of guests attending the Gala. Fifty percent of the proceeds of the winning bids will be paid directly to the artist and the remaining fifty percent benefits SMFA educational opportunities. Each student whose work is selected for the silent auction is invited to attend this very special celebration.

Past Recipients of the SMFA Medal Award

Lorna Simpson
James Turrell
Mona Hatoum
John Baldessari
Sarah Sze
John Wilson *
Glenn Ligon
Lalla Essaydi*
Susan Paine
Will Barnet*
Deborah H. Dluhy
Omer Fast*
Alex Katz
Julian Schnabel
Brice Marden
Kiki Smith
Jim Dine*
Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen
Jeff Koons
Robert Rauschenberg
Ellen Gallagher*
Mike and Doug Starn*
Arnold and Milly Glimcher
Esther Anderson*
Nan Goldin*
Ellsworth Kelly*

The SMFA at Tufts Medal is endowed through the generosity of Carol and Arnold Haynes

*SMFA at Tufts Alumni

Join Medici

Throughout the year, SMFA Medici provides guided access to emerging artists, internationally renowned faculty, and alumni. Most of all, your gift helps remarkable new artists achieve their full potential.

Give to SMFA

The work at SMFA at Tufts would not be possible without the support of a community of generous friends, artists, and alumni, including SMFA Medici and Board of Advisors. Contributions help ensure that the school remains an active, innovative center for teaching, learning, and creativity.

See All SMFA Events

SMFA hosts a full calendar of events and exhibits throughout the year. See what's coming up!