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Portland Art Museum announces new Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
Krajewski was most recently the director of the INOVA (Institute of Visual Arts) galleries at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she had served since 2012.

PORTLAND, ORE.- Brian Ferriso, the Marilyn H. and Dr. Robert B. Pamplin, Jr. Director of the Portland Art Museum, announces the appointment of Sara Krajewski as the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Krajewski was most recently the director of the INOVA (Institute of Visual Arts) galleries at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she had served since 2012. Previously, she was curator at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle, Wash., and she held curatorial positions at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and Harvard University Art Museum. She earned her undergraduate degree in art history at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her master’s degree in art history at Williams College. Her research on transdisciplinary art and performance has been supported by an Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Curatorial Fellowship.

Krajewski assumes her position at the Portland Art Museum on Monday, August 31, and will be responsible for the Museum’s growing contemporary art collection. Sara replaces longtime curator Bruce Guenther, who retired in October 2014 after 14 years at the Portland Art Museum.

“I am excited by the appointment of Sara Krajewski to this leadership position at the Museum,” Ferriso said. “I met Sara nearly 20 years ago when she was working at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and I was leading the curatorial department at the Milwaukee Art Museum. I was immediately impressed with her knowledge and passion for modern and contemporary art then, and my high regard for her talents has increased as I have followed her career since, from her work at the Henry to INOVA. I am thrilled that she will be joining our distinguished team of curators, and I am confident she will have a significant impact on our institution and community.”

Over the course of eight years at the University of Washington's Henry Art Gallery, Krajewski organized nearly 40 exhibitions of contemporary art and photography, including the traveling exhibition Image Transfer: Pictures in a Remix Culture. She has strong ties to the artistic community of the Pacific Northwest and Vancouver, B.C., curating several projects with artists from the region including SuttonBeresCuller and Isabelle Pauwels. Krajewski's capstone exhibition at the Henry was Like a Valentine: The Art of Jeffry Mitchell, a survey of the Seattle-based artist's career.

During her tenure at the INOVA, Krajewski expanded the gallery's focus on interdisciplinary art forms, film and video installation, and performance, organized group exhibitions exploring topical issues such as environmental change, and commissioned artists such as Mateo Tannatt and Natalie Jeremijenko to create new works. She emphasized connecting the gallery to the University community, facilitating the creation of new works across disciplines and placing artistic research into broader dialogues of social and cultural importance. In 2014, Krajewski was recognized as an emerging leader by the Leadership Institute of the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries.

“Portland is a dynamic and creative community that is poised for growth,” Krajewski said. “This is an exciting time to move here and engage with this constituency. I look forward to getting to know the Museum’s collection in more depth, and working with the curatorial team to expand it.”

Krajewski added that she is excited to partner with the Museum’s Education department to find new ways to connect the community and audiences of the Museum with the modern and contemporary art collections and exhibitions.


Expanded role for European Art curator Dawson Carr

In conjunction with Krajewski’s appointment, Dawson Carr, Ph.D., the Janet and Richard Geary Curator of European Art, will now oversee the Museum’s collections and exhibitions of European painting and sculpture up to 1900. Prior to this change, Carr’s period of curation extended through 1850, and the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art covered from 1850 to the present.

Dr. Carr joined the Museum in January 2013 as the Museum’s first full-time curator of European painting and sculpture, after serving as curator at The National Gallery, London, as well as the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. He has host curated spectacular exhibitions at the Portland Art Museum, including Venice: The Golden Age of Art and Music (spring 2014) and this summer’s Gods and Heroes: Masterpieces from the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris (on view through September 13, 2015).

“With Dawson’s deep scholarship in historical European art and Sara Krajewski’s expertise in and institutional focus on contemporary art, we have a wonderful opportunity, said Ferriso. “We will emphasize bringing exciting new contemporary art to the Museum, while continuing to offer the community a rich experience of the art from earlier periods.”

Brian Ferriso remains Chief Curator
Museum Director Brian Ferriso will continue to serve as Chief Curator for the Museum as well, a role previously held by Guenther in addition to the Modern and Contemporary Art curatorship.

As chief curator, Ferriso leads the institution’s presentation of art, working directly with the curators on exhibitions, gallery rotations, programs and acquisitions. Ferriso stated, “This combination of roles allows me to stay in direct contact with the core mission of the institution—art—as well as to shape and guide our future through the collections and exhibitions.”

Ferriso has host curated several well-received recent exhibitions at the Museum, including most recently The Enclave: Richard Mosse (fall 2014), Italian Style: Fashion Since 1945 (spring 2015) and this fall’s highly anticipated Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection (opening October 10).

Mary Weaver Chapin now Curator of Prints and Drawings
Mary Weaver Chapin, Ph.D., has a new title at the Museum: Curator of Prints and Drawings. Previously, Dr. Chapin’s title was Curator of Graphic Arts.

As Curator of Prints and Drawings, Dr. Chapin oversees a large and varied collection of more than 25,000 prints, posters, and artists’ books spanning 15th century to the present. She is responsible for the care, collection, research, and exhibition of prints and drawings, and she oversees the Haber Study Center in the Vivian and Gordon Gilkey Center for Graphic Arts. She regularly mounts exhibitions drawn from the Museum’s collection as well as loaned works, including Feast and Famine: The Pleasures and Politics of Food (spring 2014), This Is War! Graphic Arts from the Great War, 1914-1918 (fall 2014), and the current exhibition David Hockney: A Rake’s Progress (on view through August 2).

“This title change better reflects Mary’s increased responsibilities at the Museum,” says Ferriso. “The Museum is fortunate to have an excellent and growing collection of prints and drawings in various formats, and Mary has a marvelous talent for finding new themes and collaborations to present these objects to our visitors.”

Northwest Art curator Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson to retire in June 2016
The Museum also announced that Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson, the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art, will retire next year. Laing-Malcolmson has been the Museum’s curator of Northwest art since 2010; previously, she was president of Oregon College of Art & Craft and executive director of Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art in Great Falls, Montana.

Laing-Malcolmson has been responsible for curating and building the Museum’s distinguished collection of Northwest art from the late 19th century to the present. She presents four annual solo APEX exhibitions and the biennial group show Contemporary Northwest Art Awards by artists living in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

“The Museum is extremely fortunate to have had Bonnie as its curator of Northwest Art,” said Ferriso. “This unique curatorial post requires a range of skills, knowledge, and experience that is not often found in individuals. Bonnie had them all and has been a wonderful asset for our Museum and community. I look forward to working with her during her final year and I am extremely grateful for her tireless efforts on our behalf.”

Laing-Malcolmson will retire June 30, 2016, after the closing of 2015 Contemporary Northwest Art Awards (February 13 – May 8, 2016). The Museum will conduct a search for her replacement regionally as well as nationwide.

Donald Urquhart promoted to Director of Collections and Exhibitions
Donald Urquhart has been promoted to Director of Collections and Exhibitions, an expanded role he has performed since October 2014. In this role, Urquhart oversees the stewardship and presentation of the Museum’s permanent collection of nearly 50,000 works of art, as well as an ambitious program of more than 20 exhibitions per year.

Building on a strong foundation of domestic and international partnerships, Urquhart works with a network of colleagues and collaborators that stretches the globe. His broad experience in collections and exhibitions also helps advance wide range of grant-funded initiatives in support of research, conservation, digitization, and access. In addition to managing the Museum’s registrars, preparators, and conservation staff, Urquhart oversees the Crumpacker Family Library and the Museum’s online collections efforts, which provide digital access to images and information about the Museum’s collections and exhibitions.

Samantha Springer hired as Conservator
Samantha Springer will be the new full-time conservator at the Portland Art Museum. Previously, the conservator position was a part-time position. Trained at the prestigious Winterthur Conservation Program at the University of Delaware, Springer specializes in the preservation and treatment of objects. Her wide range of experiences includes a Mellon Fellowship at the National Museum of the American Indian, as well as special projects at the MET and Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently an Associate Conservator at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

“I was first drawn to Samantha’s breadth of experience, which is essential given the Museum’s many varied collections, but it was her enthusiastic and collaborative approach to conservation that impressed me most.” says Don Urquhart, Director of Collections and Exhibitions.

In addition to overseeing the preservation and treatment of art in the Museum’s collection, Springer will work closely with curators, educators, and partners across the community to advance special projects and increase the awareness and appreciation of this important aspect of the Museum’s mission.

Springer replaces respected longtime conservator Elizabeth Chambers, who retired in February after 25 years tending to the care and preservation of the Museum’s growing collections.

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