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Wadsworth Atheneum appoints Oliver Tostmann as new Curator of European Art
Tostmann joins the Wadsworth Atheneum from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

HARTFORD, CT.- The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art announced the appointment of Oliver Tostmann as the museum’s new Susan Morse Hilles Curator of European Art, effective October 28, 2013.

Tostmann joins the Wadsworth Atheneum from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum where he served as the Lia and William Poorvu Curator of the Collection since 2011. Previously he held fellowship positions at the National Gallery of Art in the Departments of Italian and Spanish Paintings (2007–11). Most recently, he was curator of the international loan exhibition and editor of the catalogue, Anders Zorn: A European Artist Seduces America (2013), which was the first historic exhibition presented in the Gardner’s new wing.

“Oliver’s strong commitment to scholarship, engaging personality, and deep understanding of his field will bring our European collection to life,” said Susan L. Talbott, Director and CEO of the Wadsworth Atheneum. “We are particularly excited that Oliver will be joining the museum during a critical time for our future as we finalize plans for a striking reinstallation of our European galleries, once their renovation is complete in the spring of 2015.”

Tostmann holds an M.A. and Dr. phil. in the History of Art, both from Freie Universität Berlin. He has published widely on Renaissance and Baroque artists and has lectured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe. Tostmann will oversee the Wadsworth’s vast and distinguished European collection of approximately 900 paintings, 500 sculptures, and 3,500 works on paper. In the reinstallation, European paintings, sculpture, and a rotating selection of works on paper will be integrated with equally stellar examples of decorative arts, drawn from the museum’s collection of 3,000 objects, to tell the rich story of European art, culture, and history.

"I am delighted and honored to work in such a renowned institution,” said Tostmann. “To explore the Wadsworth’s collection of European Art is simply irresistible, and I embrace its commitment to scholarship.”

The Wadsworth has been at the forefront of collecting European paintings and was the first U.S. museum to acquire a work by Caravaggio. The collection is particularly strong in Old Master paintings—including the most significant collection of early Italian Baroque art in the country—as well as seminal Impressionist and Surrealist works. Highlights include paintings by Salvator Rosa, Frans Hals, Francisco de Zurbarán, Giovanni Paolo Panini, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Joan Miró, Yves Tanguy, and Salvador Dalí.

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