Press Releases

DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum Awards 22nd Rappaport Prize to Artist Katherine Bradford

Lincoln, MA  |  August 25, 2021

deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is proud to announce Brooklyn, New York, and Brunswick, Maine, -based artist Katherine Bradford as the recipient of the 2021 Rappaport Prize. Bradford, a painter, is known for her figurative paintings of individuals or groups of ambiguously gendered individuals in space or oceanic landscapes. Established in 2000 and endowed in perpetuity in 2010, the Prize was set-up by The Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport Foundation, assuring the ongoing support of contemporary art and artists in New England. In 2019, the foundation made an additional gift of $500,000 in order to increase the annual award amount from $25,000 to $35,000, beginning with the 2019 prize. An in-person and virtual lecture is planned for Wednesday November 3, at 6pm, at deCordova and via Zoom.

About Katherine Bradford

Katherine Bradford (b. 1942, New York, NY; lives in New York, NY and Brunswick, ME) started painting at the age of thirty while living in Maine. Bradford has exhibited widely at institutions including MoMA PS1, New York; the Brooklyn Museum; the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR, and more. Her work is featured in collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Brooklyn Museum; the Dallas Museum of Art; the Menil Collection, Houston; and the Portland Museum of Art, ME. Bradford is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Joan Mitchell Grant. She has taught at the Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT; Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Madison, ME; and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. A recent monograph, Katherine Bradford: Paintings, was published by Canada in 2018. In September, a two-person exhibition of the art of Bradford and Diedrick Brackens opens at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University. In 2022, Bradford will be the subject of a touring retrospective organized by the Portland Museum of Art in Maine.

“Katherine Bradford is one of the most exciting painters working anywhere in the world”, notes Jessica May, deCordova Artistic Director. “For so many of us, her color-rich and evocative images of scenes–both possible and impossible, of flying women, embracing figures, and swimmers in a sky-like sea–have begun to feel like an emotional framework for understanding the world we live in now.”

About the Rappaport Prize
Since its inception in 2000, the Rappaport Prize has been an investment in both individual artists and the broader art community. Founded and funded by the Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport Foundation, the Rappaport Prize follows the Foundation’s mission of promoting leadership in art, public policy, and medical research. Endowed at, and selected annually by, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, the Rappaport Prize supports artists while educating the public about developments in American contemporary art.

Bradford shares, “My great thanks to the Rappaport family for rewarding artists year after year. This gives us a needed boost and the confidence that our work is communicating visually and reaching the wider world outside our studio. I feel that the greatest gift one can give to an artist is the feeling that we are understood and valued.”

The prize celebrates the achievement and potential of an artist who has demonstrated significant creativity and vision and encourages the recipient to continue a career of innovative art making. Together, deCordova and the Rappaport Foundation hope to create a community of accomplished artists whose careers have been enhanced by the recognition of the Rappaport Prize. In 2010, the Rappaport Foundation permanently endowed the prize, ensuring its continuation in perpetuity.

Each year, deCordova invites art professionals from around the country—museum directors, curators, collectors, and artists—to submit nominations for the Prize based on established criteria. After reviewing the nominations, as well as suggesting their own nominations, deCordova’s curators and Artistic Director select the Prize winner. Click here for more information.

Past Rappaport Prize Winners
2020 Sonya Clark
2019 Daniela Rivera
2018 Titus Kaphar
2017 Sam Durant
2016 Barkley Hendricks
2015 Matt Saunders
2014 Liz Deschenes
2013 Ann Pibal
2012 Suara Welitoff
2011 Orly Genger
2010 Liza Johnson
2009 Dave Cole
2008 Ursula von Rydingsvard
2007 Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons
2006 Abelardo Morell
2005 Sarah Walker
2004 Debra Olin
2003 John Bisbee
2002 Lars-Erik Fisk
2001 Annee Spileos Scott
2000 Jennifer Hall