Bowdoin College Museum of Art appoints next Mellon Post-Doctoral Curatorial Fellow

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Bowdoin College Museum of Art appoints next Mellon Post-Doctoral Curatorial Fellow
Since 2016, Kramer has held an array of positions at the University of Michigan Museum of Art.

BRUNSWICK, ME.- Sean Kramer, who recently completed his Ph.D. in the History of Art at the University of Michigan, has been appointed the next Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Curatorial Fellow at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, the Museum announced today. Since 2016, Kramer has held an array of positions at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA), focusing most recently on UMMA’s collections of European and American art. He has previously held positions as an IMLS collections researcher focused on UMMA’s photography collection, and at the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, he worked on programs in European and American art and in the Spencer’s education department. Kramer’s research interests include nineteenth-century art and visual culture, masculinity, militarism, nationalism, and imperialism—all topics that bring new opportunities for research and curatorial exploration of BCMA’s deep and diverse collections. He will begin his new position in late-August.

“We are very happy to have Sean join the team at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, bringing new perspectives to subjects of relevance to contemporary culture,” said Frank Goodyear, co-director of the Museum. “This fellowship program is an outstanding opportunity for professional growth for young curators, but is equally important for museums like ours, where our intimate scale means that we can spotlight their work in ways that benefit us all.”

“Sean joins a long line of distinguished Mellon Fellows whose work has enriched our Museum and our community,” added Anne Collins Goodyear, the Museum’s co-director. “Our previous Mellon Fellows—including Sarah Montross, Ellen Tani, and most recently Sean Burrus—have brought an array of interests, experiences, and ideas, from a focus on Latin American art, to Black conceptualism, to the art of the Ancient Mediterranean. These diverse interests become new approaches to interpreting our collection with terrific results for our campus and public, while also helping to train a new generation of curators.”

Prior to completing his Ph.D., Kramer earned a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Kansas. At the University of Michigan, his dissertation examined a particular tradition within British and French painting that sought to ennoble the experiences of the common soldier. This approach came to prominence in the decades following the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871, a period marked by sweeping military reforms, intensifying globalization through colonial expansion, and social and political upheaval. Building on this work, Kramer recently published the essay “Undressing the Army: Hygiene and Hierarchies in Eugène Chaperon’s The Shower in the Regiment (1887)” in the edited volume Male Bonds in Nineteenth-Century Art.

“I am excited to be joining Anne, Frank, and the rest of the team at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, and across the whole campus,” said Sean Kramer. “The Museum and the College have such a distinguished history, and joining a school that some fifty years ago moved to a co-educational model fits in with my interest in the study of masculinity.”

Kramer’s appointment follows the announcement several weeks ago of the Museum’s selection of Cassandra (Casey) Mesick Braun as its new curator, following an international search; she will begin work at BCMA in August. Since 2012, Mesick Braun has worked at the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas (KU), most recently as its associate curator of global Indigenous art. An anthropologist by training, Mesick Braun interests include contemporary Indigenous art, as well as in exploring the intersections of art, science, and medicine, and the role of social justice work in museum settings.

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