Mary-Dailey Desmarais appointed Director of the Curatorial Division at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

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Mary-Dailey Desmarais appointed Director of the Curatorial Division at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Mary-Dailey Desmarais. Photo Stephanie Badini.

MONTREAL.- The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts announced the appointment of Mary-Dailey Desmarais as Director of the Curatorial Division. She will lead the curatorial team as well as the departments of Exhibition Administration, Archives, Conservation, Exhibitions Production and Publishing while remaining Curator of International Modern and Contemporary Art. This new key position was created to support the teams as they develop the Museum’s numerous projects, which have grown exponentially in recent years.

"The members of the Board of Trustees and I are delighted with the appointment of Mary-Dailey Desmarais as Director of the Curatorial Division at the MMFA. Through a rigorous local and international hiring process, we unanimously approved her candidacy following the consensus recommendations of the human resources committee. I’m convinced that Mary-Dailey will successfully fulfill this new role and that the Museum's teams will benefit from her humanism, experience and great professionalism,” said Michel de la Chenelière, Chair of the MMFA Board of Trustees.

“I am humbled, honoured, and excited to be taking on this new role at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, an extraordinary institution with exceptional teams. I look forward to working more closely with the Museum’s leaders,” said Mary Dailey Desmarais, Director of the Curatorial Division.

Mary-Dailey Desmarais joined the MMFA in 2014 as Associate Curator and was appointed Curator of International Modern Art in 2015 and Curator of International Modern and Contemporary Art in 2018. Among other projects, she curated the major exhibitions Paris in the Days of Post-Impressionism: Signac and the Indépendants (2020) and Once Upon a Time… The Western: A New Frontier in Art and Film (2018), of which the catalogue won several awards. She has also strengthened the Museum's collection by promoting the acquisition of works by such artists as Omar Ba, Firelei Báez, Yoan Capote, Olafur Eliasson, Gauri Gill, Shilpa Gupta, Romuald Hazoumé, Winslow Homer, Elaine de Kooning, Mohau Modikaseng, Zanele Muholi, Robert Motherwell, Cindy Sherman and Laurie Simmons.

Mary-Dailey Desmarais holds a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University and an M.A. in art history from Williams College. Her writing has been published in numerous scholarly journals, anthologies, exhibition catalogues and art magazines. She has also been an invited speaker at academic and artistic institutions across North America. A mother of four children, she is involved in several artistic and community organizations, including Centraide of Greater Montreal.

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