New Museum announces sculpture award for women artists

Five artists will be commissioned to create sculptures for the museum’s public plaza when its expansion is complete

The New Museum on the Bowery in New York with a rendering of its planned addition to the right. Photo: OMA/

The New Museum on the Bowery in New York with a rendering of its planned addition to the right. Photo: OMA/

The New Museum in New York has announced that it is launching the Hostetler/Wrigley Sculpture Award—a biennial award that will commission five women artists over the next 10 years to create sculptures that will be exhibited in the institution’s forthcoming public plaza.

The new plaza, part of a $63m expansion announced in 2019, will be contained in a new OMA/Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas-designed building adjacent to the original New Museum structure on the Bowery. It was originally slated to open in 2022 but faced pandemic-related delays, and a new opening date has yet to be announced.

A jury for the inaugural award will be announced in early 2022, and the first commission will be announced at the end of the year.

Sue Hostetler Wrigley, who founded the Hostetler/Wrigley Foundation along with her partner Beau Wrigley of the Wrigley gum fortune, donated $2m to make the award possible. “Beau and I are thrilled to establish this award to recognise and honour contemporary women artists with outstanding talent,” she says.

“Supporting and celebrating the significant achievements of women artists, who have a history of being overlooked, and making art as public as possible, are two of our foundation’s central missions,” she says. “Our intent is that the award will also help continue the critical conversation about parity for women.”

Lisa Phillips, the museum’s director, said in a statement that the award “both acknowledges and builds on the New Museum’s legacy of championing women artists”.

She adds, “This generous gift that will enable us to further support the creation of new works by some of the best artists working today.”


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