SANTA BARBARA, CA.- UC Santa Barbara's University Art Museum
today announced two major appointments. Bruce Robertson, well-known curator and UCSB art historian, will serve as Acting Director following the appointment of Kathryn Kanjo as Chief Curator for the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego. In addition, Jocelyn Gibbs has been appointed curator of the museum's Architecture and Design Collection, a unique archival collection with over 850,000 historic drawings that document the built environments of California and the Southwest.
Robertson, who will take over as Acting Director in July, is a professor of history of art and architecture at UCSB. He was formerly Chief Curator for the Center for the Art of the Americas, and Deputy Director for Art Programs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He was one of the curators of the popular and widely praised exhibition, American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765-1915, at both the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and LACMA. Robertson is also one of the curators of Georgia O'Keefe: Abstraction, which opened at the Whitney Museum in New York City last year and is now on display at the Georgia O'Keefe Museum in Santa Fe, N.M. Robertson, who holds a Ph.D. from Yale, has also held curatorial positions at the Cleveland Museum of Art. He is a consulting curator for both LACMA and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
Gibbs currently is Associate Director, Collection, at the Canadian Centre for Architecture/Centre Canadien d'Architecture in Montreal, a leading research center and museum focused on the history, theory, practice, and role of architecture in society today. A trained architectural historian and archivist, Gibbs previously was Head of Special Collections Cataloging at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, where she has worked in various capacities since 1991. Gibbs attended UCLA, where she received a M.Phil. in architectural history and a M.L.I.S. with a specialization in special collections and archives.
The Architecture and Design Collection is already known to architects and specialists as one of the finest architecture archives in the country, says David Marshall, Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts at UCSB, who oversees the UAM. Jocelyn Gibbs has the experience and expertise to help us build the collection and make it accessible to the public as well as scholars. I am confident that our new curatorial team, including Curator Elyse Gonzales, will maintain the momentum of Kathryn Kanjo's innovative exhibitions and programming.
Gibbs, who will assume her responsibilities in the fall, will oversee the Architecture and Design Collection (ADC), which contains 110 collections and includes more than 850,000 drawings, 200,000 photographs and negatives, and 1,300 linear feet of manuscript material. Featuring materials dating from 1890 to the present, the ADC reflects the diversity of California's 20th century designed and built heritage. The ADC's most recent acquisition is the archive of Southern California architect Rex Lotery (1930-2007), which has received major grants from the Getty Foundation, the Luce Foundation, and the Institute of Museum and Library Service.
In addition to the ADC, the museum also houses an extensive fine arts collection that includes 16th- to 18th-century works on paper, the Trevey Collection of early 20th-century American Realist prints, the Ruth Schaffner Collection of post-war art, and a growing collection of contemporary artwork in all media.
The museum is closed for seismic retrofitting, but plans to host a series of special satellite exhibitions in and around Santa Barbara. It will reopen in fall 2011 with Carefree California: Cliff May and the Romance of the Ranch, which will be part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A., 1945-1980, the exciting statewide collaborative museum initiative funded by the Getty Foundation. The exhibit will be one of 44 exhibitions across Southern California that will tell the story of post-World War II art in Los Angeles.