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Terra Foundation for American Art's new collections head selection evinces global goals
Turner is Vice Provost for the Arts at the University of Virginia.

CHICAGO, IL.- The Terra Foundation for American Art announced the appointment of Elizabeth Hutton Turner as its new Vice President of Collections and Curatorial Affairs. Turner, Vice Provost for the Arts at the University of Virginia (UVa.), will begin the new position in January 2013.

“We’re forging a new approach for bringing historic American art to audiences across the globe with projects underway in Brazil, China, and Korea,” said Terra Foundation President and CEO Elizabeth Glassman. “The growing appetite for American art over the past several years dovetails with our mission, and Beth Turner is someone who can invigorate and proactively align our collection for an eager international audience.”

Containing nearly 750 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by artists such as Mary Cassatt, Marsden Hartley, Edward Hopper, and James McNeill Whistler, the foundation’s renowned collection has never been more visible in many parts of the world: 404 objects have been loaned to 100 projects at 100 venues in 14 countries since 2005. On average 20 percent of the Terra Foundation's collection is on view around the world annually, compared to about 5 percent for most museums.

“I’m most excited by the foundation’s ‘museum without walls’ model, which harnesses the collection to initiate significant cross-cultural discourses,” explained Turner.

“In the changing global landscape of the 21st century, it is particularly important to position American art as an ambassador, capable of engaging and uniting vastly diverse audiences around a visual experience. I’m eager to work with museums and curators worldwide to jointly develop new ways of understanding artwork from the United States,” Turner added.

Among her many accomplishments at UVa., Turner’s successful “Arts for Everyone and Everywhere” initiative resulted in:

• Renovation and reorganization of the university’s art museum, including new spaces for teaching and research;

• New arts buildings and reconfiguration of the Arts Common;

• An innovative public art program featuring loans of modern art from major collections; and

• University-wide residencies that engage students, faculty, and the broader community.

“Beth has been a major force in giving the arts a new prominence and a new voice at Virginia, and I’m confident she’ll bring that same passion to extending the Terra Foundation’s global mission,” said John D. Simon, Executive Vice President and Provost of the university. “She will be sorely missed.”

Turner earned a B.A. in art history from UVa. in 1973 and her Ph.D. there in 1985, after which she went on to hold numerous prominent positions in the field of American art, including senior curator at the Phillips Collection and museum program administrator at the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additionally, she has served as an advisor, consultant, and board member for organizations such as the Calder Foundation and Center for the Study of Modern Art at the Phillips Collection.

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