Following an extensive national search, the Fleming Museum of Art
announced the arrival of Debora Wood, the Museums new Curator of Collections and Exhibitions. Wood comes to the Fleming after serving thirteen years at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, the last nine years of which she was their Senior Curator.
Director Janie Cohen said, We are very fortunate and absolutely delighted to have Debora join the staff of UVMs Fleming Museum of Art. Her experience as a curator, professor, and artist all position her perfectly for her role at the Fleming. We are excited to work with her and look forward to seeing her expertise reflected in our curatorial work, from exhibitions to collections care.
At the Block, Wood orchestrated the artistic and intellectual direction of the exhibition program and was responsible for the research and development of the collection which included 5,000 works from the 15th century to the present. A specialist in works on paper and modern and contemporary art, Wood also has a strong interest in the history and discourse of prints, particularly in early modern Europe. She is author of Imaging by Numbers: A Historical View of the Computer Print (2008) published in conjunction with the first comprehensive exhibition of computer-generated art on paper. Wood curated Marion Mahony Griffin: Drawing the Form of Nature (2005) which was the first major exhibition and publication to focus on the graphic arts of one of Americas earliest female architects. Wood also organized exhibitions of work by artists including Roy Lichtenstein, Henry Moore, Shirin Neshat, Bill Viola, Lorna Simpson, Kiki Smith, and Robert Mapplethorpe.
My background gives me a particular sensibility and understanding of those who make art, said Wood. Her experience in the arts began as a student at Cornell University, majoring in painting and printmaking. She later earned her Masters of Fine Arts in printmaking from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she also served as Curatorial Assistant at the Universitys Chazen Museum of Art. After an internship at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Wood was hired as Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Oklahoma in Norman where she taught lithography, intaglio, and foundation classes before returning to museum work in 1999 when she arrived at the Block.
She feels her time at the Block prepared her well for curating from the Flemings collection. The majority of the Blocks collection was comprised of prints from all periods which allowed me to learn about works beyond my specific area of expertise and make new connections. said Wood who added that the challenge of absorbing the breadth and scope of the Museums encyclopedic collection is appealing to her.
The Fleming is unique in Vermont for its ability to present diverse artistic achievements from ancient cultural objects to cutting-edge contemporary art from all over the globe, said Wood, I am excited to build on the Flemings traditions and engage in new scholarship that will inspire fresh perspectives and a new synthesis of the collection.
Woods role as curator will help further facilitate the process of integrating the Museums varied collections and exhibitions into course curriculum as well as establishing mutually beneficial partnerships with University programs and departments, and with the community at large.