MONTCLAIR, NJ.- 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 MAMmade possible by a generous donation from the Vance Wall Foundationrepresents 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 MoMAs Modern Womens Project, designed to increase understanding of women artists across the museums 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 Ruschas Los Angeles (MIT Press), the first critical examination of Ruschas 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 Alexandras strengths, energy, and vision for this role. Contemporary art covers lots of ground. Alixs 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 MAMs Chief Curator, Gail Stavitsky. We cant 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 MAMs 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 masters 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 bachelors, magna cum laude, in the History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University.