BOSTON, MA.- The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
announced today that Dr. Oliver Tostmann would be named the William and Lia Poorvu Curator of the Collection at the Gardner. The Curator of the Collection is responsible for overseeing the historic collection, organizing exhibitions and publications generated from new scholarship on the museums holdings, as well as presenting the history of the museum and its founder. The Curator of the Collection is one of a team of five curators at the museum.
Tostmanns appointment will begin officially in April 2012. Prior to assuming his duties, he will study the history of the museum and its collections and begin to plan for future exhibitions during an intensive year as a Research Fellow at the Gardner.
Oliver impressed the search committee with his ideas for working on the museums unique collection and history, said Anne Hawley, Norma Jean Calderwood Director of the Gardner Museum. We are all looking forward to the contributions he will make with his passion for scholarship and creative thinking. Out of the many candidates who we considered, we heard repeatedly from our colleagues that Oliver is a major emerging talent in the profession. We look forward to the scholarly contributions and new thinking that he will bring to the museum.
I am honored to be embarking on this new phase of my museum career as the Gardner Museum begins a new era in its rich history. Moreover, I am curious to discover Boston with its wonderful cultural legacy, said Tostmann, who is originally from a small village in Northern Germany and attended school in Hildesheim and studied in Berlin, Paris and Pisa.
Tostmann is currently completing the third year of an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in the departments of Italian, Spanish and French Paintings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Prior to the Mellon Fellowship, he was a Joseph F. McCrindle Foundation Curatorial Fellow at the National Gallery of Art. Tostmann has worked on projects relating to objects from the Renaissance to the 19th century.
Working with National Gallery Curator of Italian Paintings David Alan Brown, Tostmann has undertaken research and documentation on several Renaissance and Baroque paintings of the collection, conducted research for various exhibition projects (Arcimboldo, 1526-1593: Nature and Fantasy; Venice: Canaletto and his Rivals) and conceived an exhibition based on a National Gallery painting by Giambattista Tiepolo. He has installed exhibitions at the National Gallery and at the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum in Braunschweig.
Prior to his work at the National Gallery, Tostmann was a lecturer at the Akademie der Staatlichen Museen von Berlin (National Museums in Berlin), and assistant editor for the scientific periodical Gegenworte, published by the Academy of Science Berlin-Brandenburg. Tostmann holds a Ph.D. in the History of Art from the Freie Universität in Berlin, where he completed his dissertation on Italian Battle Paintings of the 17th century.
Tostmann was chosen by a search committee consisting of Gardner staff and board members. Nearly 100 candidates were nominated for the position by colleagues within the museum and art world. Tostmann succeeds Alan Chong, who served as William and Lia Poorvu Curator of the Collection from 1999 to 2010. Chong was appointed in June 2010 as director of the Asian Civilisations Museum, one of the National Museums of Singapore.