Mona Hatoum honored at 2016 Medal Award Gala

Mona Hatoum honored at 2016 Medal Award Gala

School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University

Mona Hatoum. Photo: Jim Rakete.
May 17, 2016
Mona Hatoum honored at 2016 Medal Award Gala

May 23, 2016, 6:30pm

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard
465 Huntington Avenue

Throughout her distinguished career, Mona Hatoum has questioned and explored themes of themes of home, displacement, and self. Whether taking shape as installation, sculpture, video, photography, or works on paper, Hatoum’s art elicits strong psychological and emotional responses. In celebration of her internationally acclaimed work, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (SMFA), will honor Hatoum at the Medal Award Gala on May 23, 2016, in the Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. First presented in 1996, SMFA’s annual Medal Award recognizes notable artists and influential art patrons for their commitment to and impact on the art world.

“Mona Hatoum is one of the essential creative voices of our time, an artist whose work challenges us to rethink a world fractured by conflict and imagine new forms of connection,” says SMFA President Chris Bratton. “We are privileged to be honoring her with this year’s SMFA Medal Award.”

Hatoum first became widely known in the mid 1980s for a series of performance and video works that focused with great intensity on the body. In the 1990s her work moved increasingly towards large-scale installations and sculpture. Working in a diverse range of media, she has developed a language in which domestic, everyday objects are often transformed into foreign, threatening, or surreal sculptures.

“Hatoum alters the context of familiar objects, actions, and bodies to evoke multi-layered associations around personhood, place, and belonging,” says Committee Chair Abigail Ross Goodman. “Her work speaks to art’s power to communicate complex truths in a way that language alone can’t. It’s the kind of intelligent practice we should foster, and I’m proud that we are celebrating her while supporting the unique history and bold future of the SMFA.”

Born into a Palestinian family in Beirut in 1952, Mona Hatoum has lived and worked in London since 1975. Hatoum has participated in numerous significant exhibitions including the Turner Prize (1995); the Venice Biennale (1995 and 2005); Documenta XI (2002); the Biennale of Sydney (2006); and the Moscow Biennale (2013). She has held solo exhibitions in major museums and institutions in Europe, North and South America, Australia, and the Middle East. A major survey of her work was inaugurated at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2015 and will tour to Tate Modern, London and Kiasma, Helsinki in 2016.

The gala, which raises funds to support SMFA student resources and scholarships, includes seated dinner, award presentation with the artist, and a silent auction of artwork. For tickets and information, visit The Medal Award, endowed through the generosity of the Haynes Family Foundation, has been awarded to Ellen Gallagher, Ellsworth Kelly, Glenn Ligon, and Sarah Sze, among others.


About the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston:
Founded in 1876 and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (SMFA), is one of only two art schools in the country affiliated with a major museum—the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Our mission is to provide an education in the visual arts that is interdisciplinary and self-directed. For more information about our programs and partnerships, visit

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May 17, 2016

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