SANTA FE, NM.-
David Setford, director of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society and the Museum of Spanish Colonial Arts
in Santa Fe, announced today that Josef Díaz will take the reins from retiring chief curator Robin Farwell Gavin, Díazs longtime mentor. As chief curator and associate director, Díaz will assist with fundraising and community engagement efforts and work closely with Setford in planning future developments at the museum. He will also oversee its renowned Spanish Colonial art collection, develop exhibitions, and continue the museums commitment to acquiring works with a broad, Pan-American focus.
David Setford said: I speak for the whole staff and board, as well as for Robin Gavin our retiring chief curator, when I say that we just couldnt be happier that Josef is re-joining our team. He was associate curator here until 2007, so he knows the collections and will fit right in. Like his mentor and predecessor, Josef will bring to us outstanding expertise dealing with issues relating to the art of all former Spanish colonies, as well as New Mexico. His exhibitions are superb, and his contacts in the community will help us to establish a new level of engagement!
A scholar in the art and art history of the Spanish Colonial Southwest and Mexico, Díaz has excelled as a curator, author, and editor at the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors. His most recent exhibitions, each of which included companion books, were Fractured Faiths: Spanish Judaism, the Inquisition, and New World Identities; and Painting the Divine: Images of Mary in the New World. The book accompanying Fractured Faiths won first place in the category of Judaism in the Independent Press Award program. His 2009 exhibit, Santa Fe Found: Fragments in Time, has been on long-term exhibit in the Palace of the Governors, thanks to the way it helps define the capital citys dramatic settlement. He played a collaborative role in development of the History Museums long-term exhibit, Telling New Mexico and curated the Palaces Tesoros de Devoción, an exquisite collection of eighteenth and early nineteenth century New Mexican religious sculpture. Most recently, he has overseen an effort to examine the museums famed Segesser Hides with high-tech equipment.
I'm thrilled to be re-joining the talented and growing staff at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, and to be able to build and expand on the great work of my esteemed predecessors success, Robin Gavin," Díaz said. I look forward to working with David and curator Jana Gottshalk in developing thought-provoking programs and exhibitions and working with the dedicated Board of Trustees.
Díaz intends to continue the stellar programming work he became known for at the History Museum. There, robust events revolving around his exhibits and the history of the Palace included lectures and symposia with nationally known historians, musical performances, and field trips to important New Mexico sites. He is completing duties at the History Museum this month and will begin work at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art on September 18.
As head of the Curatorial Department, Díazs direct reports will include curator Jana Gottshalk who joined the museum in May. In 2005, Jana graduated from the College of Santa Fe with a BFA in Fine Art (and a minor in Art History), so she understands better than most the challenges of the artists life. In addition, she has just finished her MA at UNM, where her topic was the WPA era furniture of New Mexico. She is fascinated by the developing tradition of Spanish Colonial Art in New Mexico, especially as it relates to our Spanish Market artists, and some of their more contemporary work.
Jana worked from 2010-2015 at the Denver Art Museum, most recently as Curatorial Assistant in the New World Department, where she reported to Donna Pierce, another former MoSCA curator. Prior to that (2005-2010) she was Assistant Curator of Collections/ Collections Manager, at El Rancho de Las Golindrinas.
The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art opened to the public in 2002, and this year is celebrating its 15th anniversary. It is a division of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society, founded in 1926, which also is responsible for Spanish Market, and education and mentorship programs in schools and the community.