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Art History professor receives prestigious Charles C. Eldredge Prize

Linda Kim headshot

January 15, 2021

Linda Kim, Associate Professor of Art History, is the recipient of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s 2020 Charles C. Eldredge Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in American Art for her book Race Experts: Sculpture, Anthropology, and the American Public in Malvina Hoffman’s Races of Mankind (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2018). The Eldredge Prize, named in honor of the Smithsonian’s former director (1982-1988), is an annual $3,000 award recognizing originality and thoroughness of research, excellence of writing, clarity of method, and significance for professional or public audiences.

In Race Experts, Kim examines how Malvina Hoffman, an American who studied under the French sculptor Auguste Rodin, was commissioned in 1930 by Chicago’s Field Museum to create the more than 100 life-size bronze sculptures for the Museum’s now widely discredited 1933 exhibition “Races of Mankind.” Kim’s book was recognized by an independent panel of jurors as a “…tour de force of engaged thinking… a model of research, analysis and close looking that will engage scholars of American art with interests in both naturalism and the debates animating American art of the 1930s, as well as a broader readership looking for the intersections between art, science and race.”

Learn more about the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Charles C. Eldredge Prize here and read the press release here. On Wednesday, February 17, 2021, examine the intersections among art, science, and race during the Charles C. Eldredge Prize Virtual Lecture with Linda Kim hosted by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Learn more and register here.