Rebecca Rabinow, Director of the Menil Collection
, today announced the appointment of Edouard Kopp as the John R. Eckel Jr. Foundation Chief Curator of the Menil Drawing Institute, which will open its new home to the public on November 3, 2018. Mr. Kopp, who has served since 2015 as the Maida and George Abrams Curator of Drawings at the Harvard Art Museums, will assume his duties in January 2019.
At Harvard, Kopp has been responsible for the collection of European and American drawings from the 14th century to 1900. He also has played an advisory role for modern and contemporary drawings, working collaboratively with his colleagues in the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art with regard to loans and acquisitions. In 2017, Kopp stewarded both a landmark gift of 17th century Dutch and Flemish drawings to the Harvard Museums, as well as the acquisition of Kara Walkers recent monumental drawing and collage U.S.A. Idioms, 2017.
Rebecca Rabinow said, We are delighted to welcome Edouard Kopp to the Menil Collection, to lead our Menil Drawing Institute at this historic moment. Ten years since its founding, the Menil Drawing Institute will now be housed in an award-winning new building, brilliantly designed to support the endeavors of researchers, scholars, and conservators, and to provide the public with a deeper and more sustained engagement with drawing. Edouards impressive scholarship, keen curatorial skills, diplomatic manner, and palpable curiosity make him an ideal leader for this important program and facility. I cannot imagine a more exciting time for him to join us.
Edouard Kopp said, I look forward to joining the Menils growing community of scholars, and to the opportunity to build upon the Menil Drawing Institutes ambitious first decade as it opens its new home this fall and publishes the Jasper Johns Catalogue Raisonné of Drawings. I have dedicated my career to drawing, which is arguably the most personal, experimental, and often revelatory artistic practice, underlying virtually all other media. It is an honor to be chosen as Chief Curator of the Menil Drawing Institute, and I look forward to working in an extraordinary building, the first at any museum in the United States entirely designed to serve the specific needs of drawings and to bring them to a new level of public appreciation.
The chief curator is responsible for the management and growth of the Menils drawing collection and also for the Menil Drawing Institutes programming, educational outreach, and administration. Established by the Menil in 2008, the Menil Drawing Institute is dedicated to the acquisition, exhibition, study, conservation, and storage of modern and contemporary drawings. Since its inception, the Menil Drawing Institute has undertaken major scholarly projects such as research and publication of the six-volume catalogue raisonné of the drawings of Jasper Johns, which will be published in November 2018. Additionally, the institute has organized major drawing exhibitions and accompanying publications such as Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective and Lee Bontecou: Drawn Worlds.
Drawings make up the fastest-growing part of the museums expanding collection. In 2016, the Menil received an extraordinary promised gift of 110 masterwork drawings by 41 modern and contemporary artists from the collections of trustees Janie C. Lee and Louisa Stude Sarofim, one of the largest gifts in the museums history.
The Menil Drawing Institutes home, designed by the Los Angeles-based firm of Johnston Marklee with the collaboration of landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, will be the fifth art building on the Menils 30-acre campus. Opening to the public on November 3, 2018, the 30,000-square-foot, $40 million building will be inaugurated with The Condition of Being Here: Drawings by Jasper Johns, an exhibition spanning the artists career.
A native of Lyon, Kopp earned his Ph.D. from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London in 2013. His thesis Edme Bouchardon: Learned Draughtsman of the Eighteenth Century (1698-1762) was later adapted into a book of a similar title published by Getty Publications in 2017. He has a masters in Modern Art, also from Courtauld, for which he wrote The Demiurge is Hybrid: Alfred Kubin, Genius, Gender, and the Construction of Cultural Identity, on the Austrian Symbolist draftsman and printmaker Alfred Kubin (1877-1969). Additionally, he holds a masters in management from the Grenoble School of Management.
Previously Kopp served at the J. Paul Getty Museum for nearly seven years, as Assistant and Associate Curator of Drawings. In that role, he was responsible for French drawings from the 16th to 20th centuries and for later Germanic drawings of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Kopp has curated or co-curated more than ten exhibitions, including three international loan shows, such as Gustav Klimt: The Magic of Line, organized in partnership between the Getty and the Albertina, Vienna, in 2012; and Unruly Nature: Théodore Rousseaus Landscapes, which was shown at the Getty and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, in 2016-17.
His roles at both Harvard and the Getty have involved research, publishing, teaching, exhibition planning, and the acquisition of art through gifts and purchases.