– The Montclair Art Museum (MAM) announced today that Alexandra Schwartz has been appointed Curator of Contemporary Art beginning November 16, 2010. This newly created position at MAM-made possible by a generous donation from the Vance Wall Foundation-represents a strong commitment to an area of focus long desired by the Museum and the community.
A curator and scholar of contemporary art, Schwartz has worked in curatorial roles at the Museum of Modern Art in New York since 2004, most recently as the coordinator of MoMA’s Modern Women’s Project, designed to increase understanding of women artists across the museum’s collections. In this capacity, she served as co-editor and contributor to Modern Women: Women Artists at The Museum of Modern Art and curated an exhibition, Mind and Matter, Alternative Abstractions, 1940s to Now, a group exhibition of 10 contemporary artists working in abstraction. This past spring also saw the release of her book Ed Ruscha’s Los Angeles (MIT Press), the first critical examination of Ruscha’s groundbreaking work in relation to the cultural contexts of its production.
Lora Urbanelli, Director of the Montclair Art Museum, said: “For over 95 years, the Montclair Art Museum has provided the region with programs that explore a deep and wide ranging view of American art, from Native cultures to the present day. We are thrilled that as we enter our second century, the Vance Wall Foundation has provided us the extraordinary
opportunity to shine a strong light on contemporary art, always an interest, but never a focus. The prospect of creating and developing this program at MAM attracted a very competitive field of candidates; we are delighted to have found someone with Alexandra’s strengths, energy, and vision for this role. ‘Contemporary art’ covers lots of ground. Alix’s love and knowledge of art history and the recent past, as well as her deep connection to the art of right now, make her the perfect complement to MAM’s Chief Curator, Gail Stavitsky. We can’t wait to have her on board!”
Schwartz said: “I am delighted to be joining MAM as the first Curator of Contemporary Art, and very much look forward to building an innovative contemporary art program that engages both with MAM’s distinguished history and with the vibrant and diverse local community.”
Schwartz has published widely, editing and contributing to numerous publications, and lectured extensively. She has also taught in the master’s program in Modern Art/Curatorial Studies at Columbia University and the Education Departments at MoMA and the Whitney Museum of American Art. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in the History of Art from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s, magna cum laude, in the History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University.
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The Montclair Art Museum (MAM) presents exhibitions and programs that reflect its collection of historic and contemporary American and Native American art. MAM’s Yard School of Art offers classes for people of all ages.