Thomas Jean Lax is a curator, writer and scholar specializing in black art and performance. At the Museum of Modern Art, they are currently preparing the exhibition Just Above Midtown: 1974 to the Present for 2022 with Lilia Rocio Taboada in collaboration with JAM’s founder Linda Goode Bryant. In 2019, they worked with colleagues across MoMA on a major rehang of its collection and co-organized the exhibition Judson Dance Theater: The Work is Never Done in 2018 with Ana Janevski and Martha Joseph. Their other collaboratively-organized exhibitions include the Projects Series for emerging artists; Unfinished Conversations, inspired by the cultural theorist Stuart Hall; and the contemporary art quintennial, Greater New York. Previously, they worked at The Studio Museum in Harlem for seven years organizing When The Stars Begin To Fall: Imagination and the American South and participating in the landmark “f show” contemporary art series.

Thomas is a contributor to publications including Prospect New Orleans, Artforum, October, The NationT Magazine and Vanity Fair, among others. Thomas is on the board of Danspace Project and the Jerome Foundation and teaches at the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance. They are on the advisory committees of Contemporary And, The Laundromat Project, Participant Inc., and Recess Assembly.

A native New Yorker, Thomas holds degrees in Africana Studies and Art History from Brown and Columbia Universities and is a PhD candidate in Performance Studies at NYU where they are working on a project about mothers. They were the inaugural recipient of the Cisneros Research Grant, traveling to Brazil in 2020 to research contemporary black art. In 2015, they were awarded the Menil Collection’s Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement and in 2020, they received the Noah Davis Prize from The Underground Museum in Los Angeles alongside Candice Hopkins and Jamillah James.