Lubaina Himid

Born 1954 – Zanzibar

Lubaina Himid made history in 2017, at age 63, when she became the first Black woman and the oldest artist yet to win the prestigious Turner Prize.

As a seminal artist and curator who rose to prominence during the British Black Arts Movement in the 1980s, Himid made it her mission to foreground the neglected histories of Black people. The Zanzibar-born artist—who creates paintings, drawings, prints, and installations—studied theater design before pursuing her MA in cultural history at the Royal College of Art in London.

Her multidisciplinary background has informed some of her most memorable works, including the immersive, monumental Naming the Money (2004). The installation features 100 life-size cut-out figures representing slaves and servants. Himid created thoughtful backstories for each, which are read out on a soundtrack that loops throughout the exhibition. Over her decades-long career, Himid has exhibited across the U.K. and beyond, with shows in Berlin, Havana, New York, Los Angeles, and Gwangju. Institutions including Tate Britain, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and New Hall College in Cambridge, England, have all collected her work.