The first Vilcek Prize for Excellence was presented to the Chilean curator, Carmen C. Bambach. The award consists of recognizing the work of an immigrant who has developed a work with visible and positive effects on American society and the global scene. In addition, the person awarded receives a benefit of 100,000 U$D.

Ph: Velcik Foundation courtesy.

Carmen C. Bambach is a specialist in Renaissance Art. Passionate, mainly, of the drawing technique, the Chilean scholar has developed a considerable amount of books and articles, among them, a demonstration over the importance and functions of the frescoes and murals of that period. Currently, Bambach is the Italian and Spanish drawing curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she held exhibitions such as Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer. In addition, she is working on a investigation of Leonardo da Vinci.

Regarding the award, Vilcek Foundation co-founder Marica Vilcek, said: “The contributions of both immigrants and curators often goes unheralded and unappreciated. With the Vilcek Prize for Excellence, we are afforded the unique opportunity to bring them into the limelight to be recognized and celebrated.”

Carmen C. Bambach left Chile at the age of 17 with her parents. Because of the political climate (it was the year 1970), the Bambach family traveled to the United States. There, Carmen studied at Yale University, where she received numerous awards, in addition to being named Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Guggenheim Fellow.


About the prize and the Vilcek Foundation

The Vilcek Prize for Excellence is the newest addition to the foundation’s prize program, which spotlights and supports immigrant contributions to American society. Unlike the other prizes, however, the Vilcek Prize for Excellence is awarded at the discretion of founders Jan and Marica Vilcek in a field of their choosing. The other 2019 Vilcek Foundation Prizes recognize immigrants in biomedical science and culinary arts, and all prizewinners will be honored at a gala ceremony in New York in spring 2019.

The Vilcek Foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia. The mission of the foundation, to honor immigrant contributions to the U.S. and to foster appreciation of the arts and sciences, was inspired by the couple’s careers, as well as their appreciation for the opportunities they received as newcomers. The foundation awards annual prizes to immigrants, sponsors cultural programs, and manages the Vilcek Foundation Art Collections.