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Joslyn Art Museum welcomes New Curator of Contemporary Art
Since 2010, Campbell has worked as an independent curator.

OMAHA, NEB.- Joslyn Art Museum announces the appointment of Karin M. Campbell as the Museum's new Phil Willson Curator of Contemporary Art. Campbell comes to Joslyn following a four-year stint at Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh, PA), a leading contemporary institution, and independent curatorial work at the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona, Spain. She will begin work at the Museum on June 1.

Campbell's position at Joslyn is newly endowed by Philip J. Willson, a longtime Joslyn supporter. Willson was formerly a member of the Museum's Board of Governors (2004–2010). He is among the first members of Joslyn's Contemporary Art Society, now in its tenth year, and is the group's current chairman. The Phil Willson Curator of Contemporary Art is the second such endowed curatorial position at Joslyn Art Museum. "This gift from Phil Willson has two-fold meaning and impact," said Jack Becker, Joslyn Art Museum's executive director and CEO. "First, it is a critically important step in our process of growing the Museum's endowment. Second, it marks a permanent commitment to contemporary art at Joslyn."

From 2006-2009, Campbell was curatorial assistant in the contemporary art department at Carnegie Museum of Art. She was responsible for many aspects of planning Life on Mars, the 55th Carnegie International, the oldest exhibition of international contemporary art in North America, and the second oldest in the world. In addition to her work with temporary exhibitions, Campbell has experience in the building, maintenance, and interpretation of permanent collections, and, while at Carnegie, she assisted in the reinstallation of its permanent collection galleries.

Since 2010, Campbell has worked as an independent curator, most recently curating five exhibitions for the 2011–2012 installment of the annual Espai 13 at the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona, an annual exhibition series initiated in the 1970s to showcase the work of emerging artists. While other non-Spanish curators have been invited to organize Espai 13 in the past, Campbell is the first American curator responsible for the series. Each of the five exhibitions in her cycle, titled The End is Where We Start From, features a commissioned project by a young, female artist based in Barcelona.

Campbell earned her B.A. in art history and political science from College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA) and her M.A. in curatorial studies from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (CCS Bard) (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY). CCS Bard, an exhibition and research center dedicated to the study of art and exhibition practices from the 1960s to the present day, is recognized for its deep focus on the intellectual and practical tasks of curating contemporary art, engaging with world-renowned artists and curators, and presenting a wide range of public programs and activities exploring art and its role in contemporary society. Campbell curated, both jointly and independently, exhibitions at CCS Bard and at Bard's Hessel Museum of Art, dedicated to its Marieluise Hessel Collection of contemporary works. These endeavors included the coordination and hanging of three “viewing rooms” within the exhibition Living Under the Same Roof at Hessel and, at CCS Bard, commissioning a work, Thinking About Flying, by Pittsburgh-based artist Jon Rubin that took as its starting point the social terrain at Bard and the college’s relationship with nearby towns in the Hudson Valley. Campbell is well-versed in providing curatorial insight and support for Museum education initiatives, including both public and school programs, related to contemporary art and artists.

“Karin is expressly qualified to embrace contemporary art at Joslyn, both in the collection and through the mounting of engaging exhibitions,” said Becker. “She has a keen understanding of contemporary holdings as both a part of the art historical narrative and a reflection on developments in contemporary visual culture. I am delighted to have her at Joslyn to nurture and build our contemporary program.”

Campbell noted, “I have long been captivated by how arts organizations relate to and shape the cultural landscapes of the places in which they are located while also contributing to broader art world discourses.

I am excited about the opportunity to come work as a curator in Omaha, a city clearly committed to the arts. I am eager to play an integral role for Joslyn Art Museum and the city, deepening the experience of contemporary art through expanding Joslyn's contemporary holdings, re-imagining its presentation of contemporary art, and developing dynamic public programming.”

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