Ash Duhrkoop is a second-year doctoral student specializing in Twentieth-century and African art, with an interest in ecocriticism. Her current research considers the impacts of colonialism, industrialization, and extractive economies on art and material culture in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This interest stems from her undergraduate thesis, Atomic Bodies, which traced connections between artistic responses to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy plant in Japan. She holds an MA in Modern Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies from Columbia University and a BA in Art History and Written Arts, with a concentration in Southeast Asian Studies, from Bard College.
From 2016 through 2020, Ash served as the Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Research Associate for African Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for a grant-funded project for technical analysis and provenance research on the museum’s African art collection. Some of her research was published in The Arts of Africa: Studying the Collection at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which she co-authored. While at the VMFA, Ash curated the exhibition History from below the Mountain: Tshibumba Kanda-Matulu and Sammy Baloji. She has also held several curatorial positions in New York City, including at Dia Foundation for the Arts.