Power 100

Most influential people in 2022 in the contemporary artworld


Darren Walker

Philanthropist - President of the Ford Foundation

10 in 2022

  • 202210
  • 202130
  • 202011
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
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  • 2012
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  • 2005
Courtesy Ford Foundation

When the president of the Ford Foundation was named a Commander
of the French Order of Arts and Letters this year, the committee noted Walker’s ‘strength of conviction’, such as his involvement in realising a 2018 show concerning the role of the Black model in art at New York’s Wallach Gallery, expanded into the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, in 2019. And while Walker is in charge of Ford’s $16bn fund for social justice, his interest in art ensures cultural initiatives are given ample opportunity to pitch. Its portfolio ranges from MoMA’s scholars-in-residence programme and Nigeria’s Life In My City Arts Festival, to buying the archives of defunct Black culture magazines Ebony and Jet for the Getty Research Institute and Smithsonian (he sits on the Smithsonian board, as well those of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and the High Line, New York, while cochairing New York City’s Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments and Markers). In October the foundation revealed details of an $80m programme to build ‘resilience’ into civil-society organisations across the Global South.

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