This April, at the 2020 Spring Gala, the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) was set to honor renowned Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide (b. 1942) with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in the Arts. On the heels of the opening of Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico and an illuminating artist’s talk at the Mexican Cultural Institute, we looked forward to this culminating celebration. Though the gala could not be held due to COVID-19, we celebrated Iturbide from afar and sent her award to her home in Mexico City.
During this tumultuous time, we have been bolstered by partners, especially presenting sponsor of our gala and the exhibition Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico, RBC Wealth Management and City National Bank, an RBC Company. Their generosity fueled the museum as we adapted for the crisis—developing digital exhibitions and programs as well as extending the exhibition on-site for several weeks after the museum reopened on August 1—and they join us in honoring Iturbide.
Amy Sturtevant, senior vice president-branch director at RBC Wealth Management, said, “As presenting sponsor of Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico and the 2020 Spring Gala, we are so pleased to honor Graciela Iturbide with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in the Arts. RBC Wealth Management and City National Bank are proud to continue this partnership with NMWA for the third year. We were especially delighted to sponsor this important exhibition and help to bring greater recognition to Graciela, one of Mexico’s foremost photographers, through sharing her work in Washington, D.C. As a documentary photographer, Graciela transforms ordinary observation into powerful and provocative art, with unparalleled sensitivity. Graciela, may you and your work continue to thrive and inspire in the years to come.”
Graciela Iturbide says, “I want to thank the National Museum of Women in the Arts for this distinction that they have given me. I very much admire the effort of this museum in promoting the work of women artists, and I am very happy to receive this award.” NMWA presents the Lifetime Achievement award to women artists who have shown tremendous growth and longevity in their disciplines, such as past honorees Isabel Allende, Annie Leibovitz, Julie Taymor, and Ursula von Rydingsvard.