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Karen E. Milbourne

Karen E. Milbourne is Curator, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. Her education route was BA (1993) Bryn Mawr College; MA (1996), and finally PhD (2003) University of Iowa. Her research specialties include the visual cultures and contemporary art of Africa and the African Diaspora diasporas, curatorial practices, art and environmentalism, art and the political process, performance art, and new technologies. Milbourne was responsible for an essay on Yinka Shonibare, Seduction’s Shadows and the “Terrible Beauty” of Recent Works by Yinka Shonibare, included in the substantial bilingual Spanish-English publication, Yinka Shonibare: El Futuro Del Pasado (The Future of the Past), ARCO_Madrid2011.

Milbourne’s essay concluded, “With each new work and each new direction, whether it is with the “terrible beauty” of seduction’s shadows or with a good-natured wink, Yinka Shonibare MBE reaches into history, into the past to begin again and to prompt those who encounter his work to consider what would it mean if we were to repeat history? Might recalling the past help us to effect change?”

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Book relating to an exhibition, 2011