GOLDENDALE, WA.- Maryhill Museum of Art
today announced the appointment of Steve Grafe to curator of art. Dr. Grafe comes to the museum from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, where he has served as curator of American Indian Art since January 2004. He brings a wealth of curatorial experience and scholarly expertise to the post, which he will assume on September 1, 2009.
"We are thrilled that Steve has accepted the position. His extensive knowledge of Native arts and the Columbia River Plateau dovetails nicely into Maryhill's collection and local history," says Colleen Schafroth, the museum's executive director. "Steve's tremendous interest and understanding of all the arts, will allow him to work with Maryhill's unique and diverse collections."
During the course of his career, Dr. Grafe has served as Acting Curator of Native Heritage at the High Desert Museum in Bend, as Visual Resources Librarian at the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, and cared for collections at Colorado's Mesa Verde National Park and at Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina. From 2001 to 2003, he was Chief Curator at the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles.
In addition, he is a respected scholar, serving as a consulting curator for the traveling exhibit "Craft in America: Expanding Traditions," which complemented the PBS series "Craft in America." He is author of Peoples of the Plateau: The Indian Photographs of Lee Moorhouse, 1898-1915 (2005) and Lanterns on the Prairie: The Blackfeet Photographs of Walter McClintock (2009). Dr. Grafe holds a BA in studio art from Oregon State University and MA and Ph.D. degrees in Art History from the University of New Mexico. His doctoral dissertation analyzed pre-1880 American Indian beadwork from the southern Columbia River Plateau.
"Maryhill is a unique and wonderful institution," says Grafe. "Several of the museum's core collections represent subjects that are particularly important to me and I am enthusiastic about the prospect of developing exhibits and educational opportunities related to both regional and international art."
On a personal note, Grafe adds: "My family and I are thrilled to be returning to the Pacific Northwest. My extended family and many friends are here, and the Columbia River Plateau has been my primary area of research interest for almost 20 years."
Dr. Grafe replaces Lee Musgrave, who retired at the end of July after 14 years as Maryhill's curator of exhibits.