Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
(MFA), recently announced the naming of three endowed curatorships at the MFA, reflecting the scope of the Museums encyclopedic collections, which include works of art from all time periods and major cultures. Darcy Kuronen has been named the Pappalardo Curator of Musical Instruments, Laura Weinstein is the Ananda Coomaraswamy Curator of South Asian and Islamic Art, and Marietta Cambareri is the Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture and Jetskalina H. Phillips Curator of Judaica, Art of Europe.
I am delighted to announce these endowments, made possible by generous donors of vision. In addition to recognizing the passion and expertise of the curators, they also highlight the MFAs commitmentas an encyclopedic museumto enhance these important areas of interest to our visitors, said Rogers.
Darcy Kuronen, who has served as curator of the Musical Instruments department since 1995, is now Pappalardo Curator of Musical Instruments due to a gift by MFA Overseer Jane Pappalardo, who has also been Vice-Chair of the Musical Instruments Visiting Committee, and her husband, Neil. Kuronen began at the MFA in 1986 as assistant curator of Musical Instruments. He has organized a variety of exhibitions including Dangerous Curves: Art of the Guitar (2000) and Sounds of the Silk Road: Musical Instruments of Asia (2005). As an authority on the history of musical instruments, Kuronen has lectured extensively and is recognized as a leader in his field. He is an advisor to the board of governors for the International Committee of Musical Instrument Museums and Collections (Comité International des Musées et Collections d'Instruments de Musique or CIMCIM). Kuronen also has served as volunteer curator of the Boston Symphony Orchestras collection of musical instruments for more than a decade.
Laura Weinsteins appointment as Ananda Coomaraswamy Curator of South Asian and Islamic Art represents the MFAs first curatorship in the area of South Asian and Islamic Art. It is endowed anonymously in honor of Coomaraswamy (18771947), a renowned Sri Lankan geologist, collector, and scholar, who joined the MFA in 1917 as the first curator of Indian art in the United States. He published important works on Indian painting, sculpture, and philosophy and his own superb personal collection was purchased and donated to the Museum by MFA benefactor Denman Waldo Ross. Weinstein, who joined the Museum in October 2009 and is completing her Ph.D. at Columbia University, is currently working on plans to reinstall the MFAs South and South East Asian collections as well as a publication on the Museums Islamic collection.
Marietta Cambareri, who served as curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture at the Museum, is now the Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture and Jetskalina H. Phillips Curator of Judaica, Art of Europe. The position was endowed by Jetskalina Phillips, a retired elementary school educator from Winchester, Kansas, who left the bulk of her estate to the MFA to support the acquisition, study, and display of Judaica. While she had no known history with the MFA, Mrs. Phillips lived in the Boston area for several years, converting to Judaism under the tutelage of the late Rabbi Roland B. Gittelson. Cambareri joined the MFA in 2001 as assistant curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture, where her concentration has been European sculpture and Renaissance decorative arts. Cambareri curated the MFA exhibition Donatello to Giambologna: Italian Renaissance Sculpture at the MFA, Boston (2007), and organized the reinstallation of the Museums Italian Renaissance Gallery in 2009.
The estate of Jetskalina H. Phillips has created two endowment fundsone to support curatorial work and one to support acquisitions. These are both firsts for the MFA and reinforce the Museums commitment to Judaica as an art form, furthering the collection of art and research conducted in many departments, including (but not limited to) the Art of the Ancient World, Art of Europe, and Art of the Americas. The Museum acquired in 2009 a major piece of Judaica, a magnificent Hanukkah lamp of hammered, cast, and engraved silver accented with gold that was probably created in the 1750s in Augsburg, Germany. Other notable examples of Judaica in the MFAs collection include a shofar in the Musical Instruments collection, a Torah Binder in Textiles and Fashion Arts, and a Kiddush Cup in American Decorative Arts.