DOZENS OF BLACK CURATORS and arts leaders took on new appointments in the first half of 2022. Jenenne Whitfield will helm the Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Md. Camille Ann Brewer recently assumed leadership of the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles in California. In London, Gilane Tawadros has been selected as the next director of Whitechapel Gallery. When Tawadros officially joins Whitechapel in October, she will be the first Black person to lead the publicly funded art space since its founding in 1901.

Culture Type began reporting annually on new appointments of Black curators and arts leaders in 2016, in an effort to shed some light on representation in art museums. Museum leaders, curators, conservators, and educators shape the management and intellectual direction of the institutions, by extension determining the art, artists, and programming experienced by their audiences.

 


Clockwise, from top left: Jenenne Whitfield of American Visionary Art Museum; Erica Wall of Lunder Institute of American Art; Christine Eyene of Liverpool University and Tate Liverpool; Mark Miller of Tate; Ernestine White-Mifetu of Brooklyn Museum; and Amber Esseiva of Studio Museum in Harlem.

 

This year, the list is biannual, divided into two parts. The first installment looks at new hires announced in the first half of 2022, from January through June. At the end of the year, a second installment will review new appointments made in the latter half of 2022.

In addition to museums, this roundup also considers appointments at key nonprofits and publicly funded organizations, including foundations, scholarly institutions, and government agencies that support artists and participate in the larger art ecosystem.

In New York, Mayor Eric Adams tapped Laurie Cumbo as commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Change is also afoot at the Queens Museum where Lauren Haynes is the new director of curatorial affairs and programs. Allison Glenn joined the Public Art Fund is senior curator. And the Studio Museum in Harlem welcomed Amber Esseiva as curator-at-large.

Several appointments are newly created positions, including Esseiva’s at the Studio Museum, for example. Also, at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Michael J. Bramwell is the inaugural curator of folk and self-taught art. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Newark Museum of Art, and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts each brought on new curators of African art.

The following Culture Type list of new curatorial and arts leadership appointments concentrates on U.S. institutions and a selection of international hires (in chronological order according to announcement dates). This first installment of 2022 appointments features 47 new hires. The list is not comprehensive, but it is representative:

 
JANUARY
 


Henone K. Girma. | Photo courtesy Newark Museum of Art

 
Henone K. Girma, Associate Curator of the Arts of Global Africa. | Newark Museum of Art, Newark, N.J.

The Newark Museum of Art (NMOA) opened the new year with the announcement that Henone K. Girma was named associate curator of the Arts of Global Africa. Most recently, Girma served as programs manager at the Africa Center in Harlem. Several years ago, she was the Andrew W. Mellon Research Associate at NMOA (2015-17). Girma’s new appointment was announced Jan. 3, the same day she officially rejoined the Newark museum.

 


Margaret Vendryes died in March before she was able to assume her new role at Tufts. | Photo courtesy Margaret Vendryes

 
Margaret Vendryes, Dean, School of the Museum of Fine Arts. | Tufts University, Medford, Mass.

Margaret Vendryes (1955-2022) was appointed dean of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. The news was announced on Jan 5. At the time, Vendryes was on the faculty at York College at the City University of New York (CUNY), where she was a professor, director of the Fine Arts Gallery, and chair of the Department of Performing and Fine Arts. An educator, art historian, artist, and curator, she is the author of “Barthé: A Life in Sculpture,” a landmark biography of artist Richmond Barthé. Vendryes was expected to officially start at Tufts on June 1 in advance of the 2023 academic year. Unfortunately, she died suddenly at the end of March.

 


Kay Lee Jo. | Courtesy Cleveland Museum of Art

 
Key Jo Lee, Associate Curator of American Art | Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio

On Jan. 18, the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) announced Key Jo Lee would be promoted to associate curator of American art. Lee joined the museum in 2017 as assistant director of academic affairs. In 2021, she was appointed director of academic affairs and associate curator of special projects. Her new position at CMA was effective July 1.

 


Felicia A. Swoope. | Courtesy Newark Arts

 
Felicia A. Swoope, Executive Director. | Newark Arts, Newark, N.J.

On Jan. 18, Newark Arts announced the appointment of Felicia A. Swoope as executive director. A former dancer and producer, Swoope joined the New Jersey nonprofit from Dartmouth College where she served as both assistant director of Admissions Recruiting for the Tuck School of Business and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategist for Artivism, a digital platform designed by Walt Cunningham Jr., to help students and faculty showcase their art-based activism. Swoope officially joined Newark Arts in February.

 


Jova Lynne. | Photo by Clare Gatto

 
Jova Lynne, Director, Temple Contemporary. | Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pa.

The Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University named Jova Lynne director of Temple Contemporary, Tyler’s center for exhibitions and public programs. A curator, educator, and artist, Lynne previously served as senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD). Her new Tyler appointment was effective Jan. 31.

 


Nina Elizabeth Ball. | Screenshot, AAMP Video via Facebook

 
Nina Elizabeth Ball, Director, Programming and Education. | African American Museum in Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pa.

The African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) named Nina Elizabeth Ball the museum’s new director of programming and education. A poet, performance artist, educator, and activist, Ball is also known as “Lyrispect.” She joined AAMP on Jan. 31.

 
FEBRUARY
 


Marie Madison-Patton. | Courtesy MOCAD

 
Marie Madison-Patton, Deputy Director. | Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit in Detroit, Mich.

On Feb. 1, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) announced the promotion of Marie Madison-Patton to deputy director. She has been with the museum for a decade, most recently serving as director of business operations. Previously, Madison-Patton worked in financial operations at Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.

 


Adeze Wilford. | Photo by Rachell Morillo

 
Adeze Wilford, Curator. | Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami in Miami, Fla.

Adeze Wilford joined the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami as curator, a position supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Since 2018, Wilford had served as assistant curator at The Shed, a new New York City cultural institution that produces and presents art across a range of disciplines. Wilford curated “Howardena Pindell: Rope/Fire/Water” at The Shed in 2020. Her appointment at MOCA was announced on Feb. 2, and she official started on Feb. 14.

 


Jade Powers. | Photo by Kenny Johnson

 
Jade Powers, Curator of Contemporary Art. | Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida in Gainesville in Gainesville, Fla.

Jade Powers joined The Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida in Gainesville as curator of contemporary art. The museum announced the appointment on Feb. 7. Since 2018, Powers had been serving as assistant curator at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Mo. Previously, she was a Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellow at the Saint Louis Art Museum (2017-18). Powers officially started at Harn on April 1.

 


Ernest Gause. | Courtesy Newfields

 
Ernest Gause, Vice President of Human Resources and Chief People Officer. | Newfields, Indianapolis, Ind.

Early this year, Ernest Gause joined Newfields as vice president of human resources and chief people officer, a newly created position. The news was announced on Feb. 11. He started in January. Gause arrived at the organization (which includes the Indianapolis Museum of Art) in the wake of public missteps regarding race, including the resignation of a Black curator who called the museum’s culture discriminatory and toxic and a job posting seeking an executive director that emphasized the institution sought to maintain a “traditional, core, white art audience.” Gause has more than 20 years of experience in HR, working in a variety of industries, and is the founding president for the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources in Cincinnati.

 


Jane Carpenter-Rock. | Photo courtesy Jane Carpenter-Rock

 
Jane Carpenter-Rock, Deputy Director for Museum Content and Outreach. | Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

Jane Carpenter-Rock has been serving as deputy director for museum content and outreach at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) since March 14. She oversees the Washington, D.C., museum’s education, conservation, external affairs and digital strategies departments, as well as the Research and Scholars Center. Carpenter-Rock joined SAAM from the U.S. Department of State where she served for 20 years, most recently as director of the orientation division at the Foreign Service Institute. In previous roles, she was deputy director of the National Museum of American Diplomacy (2018-2021) and public affairs officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Cape Town, South Africa (2013-2016). Her Smithsonian appointment was announced on Feb. 14.

 


Yuma Tomes. | Courtesy The Phillips Collection

 
Yuma Tomes, Chief Diversity Officer. | The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

On Feb. 16, The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., named a new chief diversity officer. Yuma Tomes, a psychologist whose experience includes teaching, research, and academic administration, was appointed Horning Chair for Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion. Tomes joined The Phillips in February from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, where he had been serving as chair of the Department of Psychology and Philosophy.

 


Fadzai Veronica Muchemwa. | Photo via Independent Curators International

 
Fadzai Veronica Muchemwa, Curator for Contemporary Art. | National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare, Zimbabwe

The National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) named Fadzai Veronica Muchemwa curator for contemporary art. Since February, she has been serving in the newly created position across the public museum’s three branches in Harare, Bulawayo, and Mutare. Muchemwa curated the Zimbabwe pavilion at the current 59th Venice Biennale. A curator, researcher, and writer, her latest appointment marks a return to NGZ where she was previously curator for education and public programming (2017-20) and assistant curator (2016-17).

 
MARCH
 


Ernestine White-Mifetu. | Photo by Raphael Mifetu, Courtesy Brooklyn Museum

 
Ernestine White-Mifetu, Curator of African Art. | Brooklyn Museum, New York, N.Y.

The Brooklyn Museum in New York announced the appointment of Ernestine White-Mifetu as Sills Foundation Curator of African Art on March 31. White-Mifetu had been working as an independent artist and curator. She brings two decades of experience to her new role. Previously, she served as director and chief curator of the William Humphreys Art Gallery in Northern Cape, South Africa (2019-20). White-Mifetu officially started at the Brooklyn Museum on March 1 in advance of the public announcement.

 


Imani Roach. | via The Met

 
Imani Roach, Assistant Curator, Arts of Africa. | Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, N.Y.

Imani Roach first joined the Metropolitan Museum of Art in May 2021 as a senior research associate in the Department of the Arts of Africa. Earlier this year, she was elevated to assistant curator, Arts of Africa. A curator, artist, educator, and writer, Roach previously served as a visiting assistant professor of visual studies at Haverford College in Haverford, Pa. She has also developed and taught courses on the arts of Africa at institutions such as the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Roach took on her current role at The Met in March 2022.

 


Laurie Cumbo. | Courtesy New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

 
Laurie Cumbo, Commissioner. | New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York, N.Y.

On March 18, Mayor Eric Adams announced the appointment of Laurie Cumbo as commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), overseeing arts and cultural funding for nonprofit organizations across the city’s five boroughs. DCLA is the “largest municipal funder of culture in the country.” Cumbo’s background spans politics, education, and museums. Among the highlights, in 1999, she founded the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) in Brooklyn. Cumbo also taught at Pratt Institute (2001-11), before representing the 35th district on the New York City Council (2014-21) and serving as majority leader of the council (2018-21).

 


Jenenne Whitfield. | Courtesy American Visionary Art Museum

 
Jenenne Whitfield, Director. | American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, Md.

Jenenne Whitfield will be the new director of the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) in Baltimore, Md. She is only the second director to lead the museum since it opened its doors in 1995. Her appointment was announced March 23. Over the past 28 years, Whitfield has served as president and CEO of The Heidelberg Project in Detroit, Mich., the sprawling neighborhood art installation established by artist Tyree Guyton in the late 1980s. Whitfield will assume leadership of AVAM in September.

 


Sheronda Whitaker. | Courtesy Barnes Foundation

 
Sheronda Whitaker, Deputy Director for Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer. | Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, Pa.

Sheronda Whitaker was promoted to deputy director for human resources and chief diversity officer at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. Bringing two decades of experience in the field, Whitaker joined the Barnes in 2018, first serving as director of human resources, before becoming chief human resources and diversity officer in 2020. Her latest appointment was announced March 30.

 


Amanda Hunt. | Courtesy Amanda Hunt, Photo by Ruben Diaz

 
Amanda Hunt, Head of Public Engagement, Learning, and Impact. | Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minn.

On March 31, the Walker Art Center announced the appointment of Amanda Hunt as head of public engagement, learning, and impact. She joined the Minneapolis, Minn., museum in May from the forthcoming Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles, where she has been serving as director of public programs and creative practice since June 2020. Previously, Hunt was director of education and public programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. She is also a former associate curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem.

 
APRIL
 


Mark Miller. | Photo Courtesy Tate

 
Mark Miller, Director of Learning. | Tate, London, UK

Mark Miller is the new director of learning at Tate, heading up educational programming online and across the UK institution’s four galleries: Tate Modern and Tate Britain in London; Tate Liverpool; and Tate St Ives. Miller joined Tate in 2006 as curator of young peoples programs and more recently was responsible for learning strategy at Tate Britain and Tate Modern. His new appointment was announced April 1. Miller officially started in his new role on April 4.

 


Camille Ann Brewer. | Courtesy San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles

 
Camille Ann Brewer, Director. | San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles in San Jose, Calif.

On April 5, the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles (SJMQT) announced Camille Ann Brewer would serve as its next director. A curator, handweaver, and archivist, Brewer joined the museum on May 2 from Detroit, Mich. She brings a spectrum of experience to SJMQT, more than two decades across museums, academia, and art sector work as a consultant and entrepreneur. Among her many roles, Brewer was curator of contemporary art at The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum at GWU in Washington, D.C. (2016-18).

 


Jessica Bell Brown. | Photo by Michael Avedon

 
Jessica Bell Brown, Curator and Department Head for Contemporary Art. | Baltimore Museum of Art in Baltimore, Md.

After joining the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) as associate curator of contemporary art in November 2019, Jessica Bell Brown was elevated to curator and department head for contemporary art. The promotion was announced April 7. Brown is co-curator of “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration,” an ambitious touring exhibition that opened at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson on April 9 and travels to the Baltimore Museum of Art on Oct. 30.

Jessica Bell Brown is co-curator of “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration,” an ambitious touring exhibition that opened at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson in April and is headed to the Baltimore Museum of Art in October.

 


Christine Eyene. | Photo by Aliyah Leger

 
Christine Eyene, Research Curator. | Tate Liverpool in Liverpool, UK

Curator and art historian Christine Eyene is an active participant in the British and international art scene. She recently joined the Liverpool School of Art and Design at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) as a lecturer in contemporary art. The position is a dual role that includes an appointment as research curator at Tate Liverpool, where she will work with the Exhibitions and Displays, and Learning teams. Eyene is a member of the Turner Prize 2022 jury. Previously, she was a research fellow in contemporary art in the School of Arts and Media at the University of Central Lancashire, where she worked with Turner Prize-winning artist and professor Lubaina Himid on a project called Making Histories Visible (2012-22). Eyene started at Tate Liverpool in April and recently responded to questions about her appointment at Liverpool University. She said her new post “reflects LJMU’s (and Tate Liverpool’s) ambition to decolonising the arts institution.”

 


Omar Eaton-Martínez. | Courtesy National Trust for Historic Preservation

 
Omar Eaton-Martínez, Senior Vice President for Historic Sites. | National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, D.C.

In April, Omar Eaton-Martínez accepted a position at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He is now senior vice president for historic sites. The appointment was effective in July. Eaton-Martínez joined the National Trust from the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, where he had been serving as assistant division chief since 2018. He previously worked at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, National Park Service, Office of the National Museum of the American Latino Commission, NASA. Earlier in his career, Eaton-Martínez was a K-12 teacher in New York City and Washington, D.C.

 


Lauren Haynes. | Photo by Kevin Beasley, Courtesy Queens Museum

 
Lauren Haynes, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Programs | Queens Museum, New York, N.Y.

The Queens Museum announced the appointment of Lauren Haynes as director of curatorial affairs and programs on April 25. Haynes spent a decade on the curatorial team at the Studio Museum in Harlem, departing in 2016 to join the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark. During her five-year tenure, Haynes’s role expanded to director of artist initiatives and curator of contemporary art at Crystal Bridges and The Momentary. Last year, she accepted an appointment at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in Durham, N.C. After six years in the South, Haynes is returning to New York City taking on a newly created role at the Queens Museum, where she officially started in July.

After six years in the South, Lauren Haynes is returning to New York City taking on a newly created role at the Queens Museum: director of curatorial affairs and programs.

 
MAY
 


Juana Williams. | Photo courtesy Juana Williams

 
Juana Williams, Associate Curator of African American Art. | Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Mich.

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) welcomed Juana Williams as associate curator of African American art on May 2. An independent curator based in Detroit, she recently served as director of exhibitions at Library Street Collective and was an adjunct faculty member in art history at Wayne State University in Detroit. Williams rejoined DIA after previously working at the museum as a research assistant several years ago (2016-17).

 


Courtney Jones. | Photo by Gary Sexton, Courtesy Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

 
Courtney Jones, Manager of Diversity and Inclusion. | Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in San Francisco, Calif.

Courtney Jones became the first person to serve as manager of diversity and inclusion at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) when she joined the institution in January. FAMSF is comprised of the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park. Several months into her tenure at the museums, Jones’s appointment was announced with other new hires on May 5. Since 2016, Jones had previously served as operations director and senior business solutions strategy consultant at Managing Diversity Together LLC.

 


Devin Malone. | Photo by Gary Sexton, Courtesy Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

 
Devin Malone, Director of Public Programs and Community Engagement. | Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in San Francisco, Calif.

Devin Malone is director of public programs and community engagement at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF). Malone officially started in the newly titled role in February. The appointment was announced May 5. FAMSF is comprised of the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park. Previously, Malone worked at the Dia Art Foundation in New York, most recently as assistant curator of public engagement. Malone has also been a public programming fellow at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

 


Sarah Mackay. | Courtesy Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

 
Sarah Mackay, Assistant Curator, Achenbach Collection of Graphic Arts. | Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in San Francisco, Calif.

Sarah Mackay joined the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) as assistant curator of the Achenbach Collection of Graphic Arts in May. The appointment was announced May 5. FAMSF is comprised of the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park. At the museums, Mackay works with the collection of works on paper, more than 90,000 items including prints, drawings, and artist’s books. Mackay joined the FAMSF from Christie’s New York. She held several positions at the auction house.

 


Abram Jackson. | Courtesy Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

 
Abram Jackson, Director of Interpretation. | Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in San Francisco, Calif.

On May 5, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) announced the appointment of Abram Jackson as director of interpretation, a newly created position. He is charged with providing equitable distillations of exhibitions, designing new interpretation processes, and supporting the gallery guide program. FAMSF is comprised of the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park. An educator with more than two decades of teaching experience, Jackson has been serving as an interpretive consultant to the museums since 2019, working most recently on “Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love.” He officially started his new FAMSF role in June.

 


Erica Wall. | Photo Courtesy Lunder Institute

 
Erica Wall, Director. | Lunder Institute for American Art, Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine

On May 10, the Colby Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine, announced Erica Wall as the next director of its Lunder Institute for American Art. An arts leader with two decades of experience, Wall had been serving as director of the MCLA Arts and Culture at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, Mass. She officially started at the Lunder Institute on July 1.

 


Dorothy Berry. | via Smithsonian

 
Dorothy Berry, Digital Curator. | Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C.

After announcing in May that she was taking on a new opportunity at the Smithsonian, Dorothy Berry departed Harvard University’s Houghton Library in June where she served for four years as digital collections program manager. In July, Berry joined the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., as digital curator.

 


Allison Glenn. | Photo by Jenny Risher, Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY

 
Allison Glenn, Senior Curator. | Public Art Fund, New York, N.Y.

In New York, Allison Glenn was named senior curator at the Public Art Fund. The news was announced May 11 and her appointment was effective May 16. Last year, Glenn guest-curated “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” at Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Ky. The highly praised group exhibition was inspired by the life of Breonna Taylor. Glenn joined the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston in the role of senior curator and director of public art in August 2021. After a brief tenure, CAM Houston announced her departure in February. Previously, Glenn spent three years at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., where she served as associate curator for contemporary art (2018-21).

Last year, Allison Glenn guest-curated “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” at Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Ky. The highly praised group exhibition was inspired by the life of Breonna Taylor.

 


Sabrina Pritchett. | Courtesy Dayton Art Institute

 
Sabrina Pritchett, External Affairs Director. | Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio

Sabrina Pritchett joined the Dayton Art Institute as external affairs director in May. A native of Dayton, over the past six years she had been serving as associate director of university public relations and marketing at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio.

 


Ndubuisi C. Ezeluomba. | Photo courtesy VMFA

 
Ndubuisi C. Ezeluomba, Curator of African Art. | Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Va.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) named Ndubuisi C. Ezeluomba curator of African art on May 12. The appointment marked his return to the Richmond museum. From 2016-18, Ezeluomba was an Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Research Specialist in African Art at VMFA. More reently, Ezeluomba, who goes by Endy, had been serving as the Françoise Billion Richardson Curator of African Art at the New Orleans Museum of Art since 2018. He officially began his new position at VMFA on May 25.

 


Gilane Tawadros. | Photo © Brian Benson

 
Gilane Tawadros, Director. | Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK

London’s Whitechapel Gallery announced Gilane Tawadros as its next director on May 16. A curator, writer, and art historian by training, Tawadros brings more than 30 years of experience in the visual arts to the role. She is currently executive director of DACS (The Design and Artists Copyright Society), the nonprofit visual artists rights management organization. Previously, she served as founding director of the Institute of International Visual Arts (Iniva). Tawadros will be the first Black person to lead Whitechapel, a publicly funded art space founded in 1901. She officially starts in October.

Gilane Tawadros will be the first Black person to lead London’s Whitechapel Gallery, a publicly funded art space founded in 1901.

 


Colette Pierce Burnette. | Photo by Kylie Birchfield

 
Colette Pierce Burnette, President and CEO. | Newfields, Indianapolis, Ind.

In Indiana, Colette Pierce Burnette was named president and CEO of Newfields, “a place for nature and art” that includes the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Last year, then-president and CEO Charles Venable stepped down after the institution posted a job description seeking a director who could “attract a broader and more diverse audience while maintaining the Museum’s traditional, core, white art audience.” His downfall created the vacancy Pierce Burnette filled. Her appointment was announced May 17. Pierce Burnette’s experience includes two decades in higher education with a background in engineering, information technology, and public service. She joined Newfields on Aug. 1 from Huston-Tillotson University, a HBCU in Austin, Texas, where she had been serving as president and CEO since 2015.

 


Michael J. Bramwell. | Courtesy MFA Boston

 
Michael J. Bramwell, Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art. | Museum of Fine Arts Boston in Boston, Mass.

Michael J. Bramwell joined the Museum of Fine Arts Boston in a newly created role: Joyce Linde Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art. An artist, curator and scholar of Edgefield, S.C., potter David Drake (1801-1865), Bramwell was a visiting guest curator at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) in Winston-Salem, N.C., at the time of his appointment. The news was announced May 24. He officially started at the MFA on June 1.

 


Amber Esseiva. | Courtesy Studio Museum in Harlem

 
Amber Esseiva, Curator-at-Large. | Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, N.Y.

Taking on a newly created position, Amber Esseiva joined the Studio Museum in Harlem as curator-at-Large. The news was announced May 26. Working in collaboration with the Studio Museum’s curatorial team, Esseiva was brought on to “advise on exhibitions and acquisitions, manage artist relationships, and participate in the Museum’s mission-related artist advocacy work, all while fortifying her ongoing research.” In addition to her Studio Museum appointment, Esseiva will continue her role at the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she has been on staff since 2016, most recently as associate curator.

 


Elena Gross. | Courtesy Berkeley Art Center

 
Elena Gross, Co-Director. | Berkeley Art Center in Berkeley, Calif.

In Berkeley, Calif., Elena Gross joined the Berkeley Art Center (BAC) as co-director. The news was announced May 27. The center describes itself as a “diverse intergenerational community” and “hub for artistic exploration and community building that champions work by Bay Area artists and curators.” Gross has eight years of experience working in the Bay Area arts community and a background that spans museums, culturally specific institutions, commercial galleries, independent nonprofits, and arts publications. Most recently, she served as director of exhibitions and curatorial affairs at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco. She officially started at BAC on June 21.

 
JUNE
 


Maya Brooks. | Photo by Daniel White

 
Maya Brooks, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art. | North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, N.C. & Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, N.C.

Maya Brooks began her role as assistant curator of contemporary art at the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) in Raleigh, N.C., and Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem, N.C., on June 2. SECCA is an affiliate of NCMA and the North Carolina Department of Natural & Cultural Resources. Brooks took on the joint appointment after gaining two years of experience as the Mellon Foundation Assistant Curator at NCMA.

 


Nontsikelelo Mutiti. | Photo by Jasper Kettner

 
Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Director of Graphic Design. | Yale School of Art, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.

Nontsikelelo Mutiti recently joined the faculty of the Yale School of Art as director of Graduate Studies in Graphic Design. A Yale alum, the Zimbabwean-born designer, visual artist, and educator earned an MFA in graphic design from the Yale School of Art (2012). Mutiti says her teaching practice is an extension of her conceptual, research-based studio practice, which spans print, moving-image, web design, fine art, and community engagement. She previously served as an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and Purchase College, State University of New York. The Yale news was announced June 13, with her appointment effective in August.

A Yale alum, Nontsikelelo Mutiti says her teaching practice is an extension of her conceptual, research-based studio practice, which spans print, moving-image, web design, fine art, and community engagement.

 


Anya Dani. | Courtesy Anya Dani, Photo by Mirijam Neve

 
Anya Dani, Director of Community Engagement and Inclusive Practice. | UCLA/Getty Interdepartmental Program in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage, Cotsen Institute of Archeology, University of California at Los Angeles in Los Angeles, Calif.

An object conservator, Anya Dani recently joined the UCLA/Getty Interdepartmental Program in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage as director of community engagement and inclusive practice. She also serves as a lecturer in cultural heritage conservation. While Dani will focus on research and teaching, the position is also designed to help expand the field of conservation by addressing its lack of diversity, attracting more students of color to the field, and broadening African American representation in the discipline through partnerships and advocacy. The news was announced on June 16. She officially started on Aug. 1.

 


Turry M. Flucker. | Photo by Mark Geil

 
Turry M. Flucker, Vice President of Collections and Partnerships. | Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago, Ill.

On June 17, the Terra Foundation for American Art announced the appointment of Turry M. Flucker as vice president of collections and partnerships. He joined the foundation from Tougaloo College, an HBCU in Tougaloo, Miss., where he served as director and curator of the Tougaloo College Art Collections. In the newly created position at the Terra Foundation in Chicago, Flucker will preside over an American art collection of 750 objects. He officially started on Aug. 1.

 


T. Camille Martin-Thomsen. | Courtesy SAIC

 
T. Camille Martin-Thomsen, Dean of Faculty & Vice President of Academic Affairs. | The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Ill.

T. Camille Martin-Thomsen was named dean of faculty and vice president of academic affairs at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). She will lead the school’s academic programs, research and professional practice activities, and faculty diversity and inclusion efforts. An architect and researcher, Martin-Thomsen was previously acting associate provost for academic affairs at Pratt Institute in New York, where she also taught in the departments of Interior Design and Art and Design Education. Her new appointment was announced June 20. Martin-Thomsen joins SAIC on Sept. 1.

 


Toya Northington. | Courtesy Speed Art Museum

 
Toya Northington, Director of Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. | Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Ky.

On June 30, the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Ky., named Toya Northington inaugural director of Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. Northington was elevated from her previous position at the museum as community engagement strategist. Northington joined the Speed in 2019. She was also serving as interim director of education at the time of her new appointment.

 


fari nzinga. | Courtesy Speed Art Museum

 
fari nzinga, Curator of Academic Engagement and Special Projects. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Ky.

The Speed Art Museum also announced the appointment of fari nzinga on June 30. Nzinga joined the museum as inaugural curator of academic engagement and special projects. A curator and educator, she co-founded Color BLOC, an information sharing network for artists and arts professionals. Most recently, nzinga was a visiting professor and scholar-in-residence at the bell hooks center at Berea College in Berea, Ky. She officially started at the Speed on June 9. CT

 

FIND MORE Culture Type has previously reported new curatorial and arts leader appointments in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021

 

READ MORE U.S. art museum staff diversity has largely been gauged by 2015 and 2018 demographic surveys conducted by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. (A number of case studies were also released in 2017-18.)

FIND MORE about the Mellon survey findings on Culture Type

FIND MORE A new Mellon survey engaging more than 900 U.S. art museums is underway for 2022

 

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