AMHERST, MASS.- The Mead Art Museum
at Amherst College has appointed Dr. Alla Rosenfeld to the position of curator of Russian and European art, effective May 22, 2017. Rosenfeld will oversee the program for Russian and European art at the Mead, including researching the collection, developing exhibitions and proposing new acquisitions. In addition, Rosenfeld will collaborate with the Amherst Center for Russian Culture and other faculty, scholars and students at Amherst College.
Rosenfeld comes to the Mead from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., where she has taught a wide range of courses on Russian art and culture and served from 1992-2006 as director of the Russian Art Department and senior curator of Russian art at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers. Rosenfeld also worked as vice president and senior specialist in Russian paintings for Sotheby's in New York from 2006-2009.
Rosenfeld earned her master's degree in the theory and history of art from the Ilya Repin State Academic Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture (Academy of Fine Arts) in St. Petersburg, Russia, and her doctorate in modern and contemporary European and American art from the Graduate Center at City University of New York. Her research and teaching centers on modern and contemporary European art, with particular emphasis on Russian culture and intellectual history, Soviet and post-Soviet cultural politics, Soviet nonconformist art, the history of design and graphic arts, the history of theater and theater design.
Rosenfeld has curated numerous exhibitions on subjects including nonconformist art, Russian costume and stage design and Russian graphic arts of the early 20th century. Rosenfeld's publications include the A Biographical Dictionary and A World of Stage: Russian Design for Theater, Opera, and Dance. She was general editor and contributed to the volumes Moscow Conceptualism in Context and Art of the Baltics: The Struggle for Freedom of Artistic Expression under the Soviets, 1945-1991.Rosenfeld has been awarded various prestigious research fellowships, including the Belvedere museum of Austrian Art in Vienna and the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.), as well as several fellowships from the American Association of Museums.
For Rosenfeld, the Mead's acclaimed Thomas P. Whitney Collection of Russian Art holds particular allure. "I see my new position as an unparalleled opportunity to work with such an important collection of Russian art and to contribute my utmost for the Mead's success," she says.
Along with her other responsibilities as curator, Rosenfeld is looking forward to working closely with faculty and students at Amherst College. "I believe that it is important to promote the participation of students in the activities of the museum through research opportunities and assistance in on-site curatorial projects that involves the Mead's rich collections of Russian and European art," she says. "I hope that I can share my significant research in avant-garde and contemporary art with students to fulfill curricular goals as well as attract larger audiences to the museum."
"We are delighted to welcome Dr. Alla Rosenfeld to the Mead's staff and to the Amherst community," says David E. Little, director and chief curator of the Mead, who chaired the search committee. "Dr. Rosenfeld is a prolific scholar and curator with an infectious passion for art and history that I know will inspire Amherst students and yield great publications and exhibitions at the Mead. She possesses deep knowledge in both Russian art and publications, matching perfectly with the focus of the Thomas P. Whitney collection."
Established with funds bequeathed by William Rutherford Mead (Class of 1867), a partner in the storied architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White, the Mead Art Museum holds the 19,000-object art collection of Amherst College, representing a wide range of historical periods, national schools, and artistic media. The Mead's Thomas P. Whitney Collection of Russian Art features more than 400 objects created by artists in Russia and in exile in the 19th and 20th centuries. Whitney, a diplomat, writer, translator and journalist, graduated from Amherst College in 1937, co-created the Amherst Center for Russian Culture in 1991, and donated his collection of Russian artwork to Amherst College in 2001.
The Mead's collection also includes American and European paintings, Mexican ceramics, Tibetan scroll paintings, an English paneled room, ancient Assyrian carvings, West African sculpture, Korean ceramics, and Japanese prints, along with fine holdings of American furniture and silver.