Jessica May has been named Curator of Contemporary and Modern Art at the Portland Museum of Art
. May will be responsible for overseeing the interpretation and development of the Museums contemporary and modern art collection, including annual exhibitions, the Biennial, and the Circa series. May will join the staff in June 2012.
As the first formally dedicated Curator of Contemporary and Modern Art, Jessica will bring to the Portland Museum of Art her national reputation for innovative and creative scholarship, said Museum Director Mark Bessire. Her energy and vision will enable the Museum to strengthen its commitment to our local and national contemporary art scene.
Most recently, May has worked as Associate Curator of Photographs at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Forth Worth, Texas. May joined the Amon Carters Curatorial Department in August 2006 as Assistant Curator of Photographs after completing the Jane and Morgan Whitney Art History Fellowship in the Department of Photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In addition to her work at the Met, May was the recipient of a Smithsonian Predoctoral Fellowship at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in the Humanities at the University of California, Berkeley. She has contributed to several exhibitions, catalogues, and other publications including American Modern: Abbott, Evans, Bourke-White (2010); The Medium and Its Metaphors (2012); From Survey to Canal (2010); Subhankar Banerjee: Where I Live I Hope to Know (2011); Mary Lucier, The Plains of Sweet Regret (2008); and the Amon Carters annual Masterworks of American Photography series. May earned her Ph.D. and Masters in Art History from the University of California, Berkeley. She has an undergraduate degree in Art History from Barnard College of Columbia University.
May joins the Museums curatorial staff, which includes: Susan Danly, Senior Curator; Margaret Burgess, The Susan Donnell and Harry W. Konkel Associate Curator of European Art; Ariel Hagan, Curatorial Coordinator; and Lindsay Garcia, Curatorial Assistant.