Professor Bard Peter L’Official wins Rabkin Prize for Visual Arts Journalism


Pierre L’Officiel.

Peter L’Official, associate professor of literature and director of the American Studies program at Bard College, won a $50,000 Rabkin Prize for his work in visual arts journalism. L’Official is one of eight visual arts journalists to receive a Rabkin Prize from the Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation. The members of the jury for this sixth cycle of awards were: Eric Gibson (Arts in Review editor of the the wall street journal), Sasha Anawalt (professor emeritus of journalism at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism) and Paul Schmelzer (founder of The Ostracon: dispatches from the Beyond contemporary art center).

“I am honored to be recognized among such a brilliant group of other recipients by the Rabkin Foundation. Thank you to the jurors, the anonymous nominators, the Rabkin Trustees, and most especially, all of the editors, writers, and readers who donate the work artistic criticism that is both possible and useful,” said L’Officiel.

Peter L’Official (he/him) is a writer, art critic, and professor of literature and American studies from the Bronx, NY. He is Associate Professor of Literature and Director of the American Studies Program at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, where he teaches courses in African American literature and culture, 20th and 21st century American literature, and how the visual arts intersect with literature, place and architecture. He is also the coordinator of the “Rethinking Place: Bard-on-Mahicantuck” project, a grant supported by the Mellon Foundation’s “Humanities for All Times” initiative.

The Official is the author of Urban Legends: The South Bronx in Representation and in Ruinpublished by Harvard University Press in 2020. His writings have appeared in Artforum, The Believer, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The New Yorker, The Paris Review Daily, The Village Voiceand other publications, and is a member of the editorial board of The European Book Review. He has written catalog essays for exhibitions by artists such as Carl Craig and Becky Suss, and his next book project will explore the intersections of literature, architecture, and darkness in America. The Official has a BA in English from Williams College and an MA in Journalism from New York University’s Cultural Reporting and Criticism program. He obtained his doctorate. in American Studies from Harvard University, and was previously a Fellow of the Charles Warren Center for American History at Harvard University in 2014-15.

Now in its sixth cycle, the Rabkin Prize began in 2017. To date, the Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation has given a total of $2,775,000 to individual fine art writers. The award program is by appointment only. A distinguished group of 16 nominators, working in the visual arts in all regions of the country, provided the list of potential winners. Nominators were asked to identify “the essential visual arts journalist working in your region of the country”. Nominees for the award submitted two recently published articles and a brief curriculum vitae. Writers can be renamed and are eligible until they win a Rabkin Prize. It is an annual program and a central initiative of the foundation.

The other winning journalists of this cycle are: Shana Nys Dambrot (Los Angeles); Bryn Evans (Decatur, Georgia); Joe Fyfe (New York); Stacy Pratt (Tulsa); Darryl F. Ratcliff, II (Dallas); Jeanne Claire van Ryzin (Austin); Margo Vansyngel (Seattle).

Publication date : 19-07-2022


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