Janet Kraynak announces the Solomon B. Hayden Fellowship: a major, new endowment for the MODA program

September 15, 2022

The MODA Program is pleased to announce the creation of a major new endowment: Solomon B. Hayden Fellowship. Established with the generosity of artist and Columbia University MFA graduate, Hugh Hayden, in memory of his father Solomon B. Hayden, and Lisson Gallery (London, New York, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Beijing), in conjunction with a matching award from the University, the fellowship will permanently fund a MODA fellowship targeted to an incoming student who demonstrates eligibility based on any of the following criteria: from a socioeconomically disadvantaged background; has experience living or working in diverse environments; has demonstrated experience in or commitment to working with historically underserved or underprivileged populations. Priority will be given to those who exhibit demonstrated leadership in and support for the African-American and African diaspora communities, and has an intellectual interest in the history of art of those areas. MODA Director Janet Kraynak emphasizes that, in addition to providing a permanent source of funding that will grow over time, the scholarship intends to facilitate professional mentorship by Lisson gallery. GSAS Dean Carlos Alonso comments, “The Hayden Lisson Fellowship is a consummate example of how institutions can act creatively to diversify the profile of the individuals who join their ranks. The Graduate School is very grateful for this inspired and inspiring gift—a true sign of commitment to the transformation of art history and curatorial studies.” Lisson Gallery CEO Alex Logsdail shared their enthusiasm for the good news with the following statement: “Lisson Gallery is thrilled that the Solomon B Hayden Scholarship for students looking to study art history and curating at Columbia has now been ratified as an endowment in perpetuity. This will allow the funds to accrue and be added to over time, but most importantly, means that those from traditionally marginalized backgrounds, who need some support can count on this fund for the foreseeable future. We would like to thank Hugh Hayden for initiating the fellowship, Columbia University for match-funding our donation, and the first graduating MODA student from this program, Kojo Abudu (’22), whose thesis exhibition, Living With Ghosts, at the Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia and ongoing work with the gallery have both been warmly received.”