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Henry Luce Foundation grant enables expansion of American art galleries and department
William Coleman.

NEWARK, NJ.- A grant from the Henry Luce Foundation has launched a major project at the Newark Museum, to expand and reinterpret its permanent galleries of American art. This initiative has also made possible the appointment of William L. Coleman as Associate Curator of American Art.

“William will help us develop and make a reality this important transformation, which represents an essential next step for the development of the Museum,” said Steven Kern, the Museum’s Director and CEO.

The two-year grant will focus on Modern and Contemporary American art as well as historical and contemporary Native American collections, and will support the American art installations in the Museum’s recently renamed Seeing America galleries. The comprehensive physical renovations will include improved sight lines and expanded wall space throughout the Twentieth Century galleries. Works from the Native American collection and a diverse selection of African-American, Latin American and European-American art will be highlighted in the reconceived galleries, including a new long term installation featuring historical and contemporary works from the Arts of the Americas collection in context with works by American modernists. The Luce grant has also made possible an Artist in Residence program, which will bring Los Angeles-based artist Matthew Brandt to the Museum over the next two years to research, create, and install original work in the Seeing America Contemporary galleries. Two highlights catalogues are also planned for publication with the reopening of the new galleries in February, 2019—one documenting the Native American collection and another that surveys major works of abstract art in the collection, from the early twentieth century to the present.

In his capacity as Associate Curator, Coleman will be working with Tricia Laughlin Bloom, Curator of American Art, on the reinstallation and related publications. “We have ambitious and exciting plans in place for the American galleries, and William is just the kind of bright, interdisciplinary curator we need for this project.”

Coleman is a specialist in 19th century landscape painting with additional training in musicology and interests in modern and contemporary landscape subjects as well. He comes to the Museum most recently from a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library.

“As a New Jersey native whose professional path has been shaped by the distinguished 19th-century American art holdings of the Newark Museum, I’m thrilled to join the staff of this vital, community-focused institution,” Coleman said.

Coleman holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of California, Berkeley, a M.A. in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, and a B.A. in Art History from Haverford College. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution. His essays have appeared in Huntington Library Quarterly, the Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Routledge Companion to Music and Visual Culture.

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