Barry Art Museum appoints Sara Woodbury as its first permanent curator

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Barry Art Museum appoints Sara Woodbury as its first permanent curator
Sara Woodbury Photo Chuck Thomas/ODU. Woodbury brings more than a decade of curatorial experience to the role.



NORFOLK, VA.- The Barry Art Museum at Old Dominion University has appointed Sara Woodbury as its first permanent curator. Woodbury has served as guest curator for the museum since 2020 and brings more than a decade of curatorial experience to the role. As curator, she will be tasked with presenting the Barry Art Museum’s extensive collection of glass, paintings and dolls in unique and exciting ways.

Before coming to the Barry Art Museum, Woodbury was the Curator of Collections and Exhibitions for the Roswell Museum in New Mexico from 2013 to 2018. She was also a Curatorial Fellow at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont from 2011 to 2013 and a McDermott Curatorial Intern at the Dallas Museum of Art from 2010 to 2011.

"We are thrilled to announce Sara Woodbury as our new curator of art,” said Charlotte Potter Kasic, executive director for the Barry Art Museum. “With her incredible performance and credentials, Sara has continually revealed remarkable new angles and stories for the rich history our objects can share. We eagerly anticipate the unique perspective she will bring to our institution during this time of growth."

In her time at the Barry Art Museum, Woodbury has curated the multidisciplinary exhibition “Motion/Emotion: Exploring Effect from Automata to Robots,” which reinterpreted the museum’s 19th-century automata collection, and “Rhonda Holy Bear: Artist and Story-Keeper,” which highlighted the Lakota doll maker’s exquisite sculpture work, among other shows.

She also curated the upcoming exhibition “Message in a Bottle,” which ties together the museum’s collection of maritime paintings with ODU’s maritime initiatives and the rich history of maritime in the Hampton Roads region.

“I’m excited to join the outstanding staff at the Barry Art Museum and help this institution become an invaluable resource for both the ODU community and the Hampton Roads region,” Woodbury said. “Its eclectic, superb collection has the potential to cultivate conversations and collaborations across different interests and disciplines. I’m honored to join the museum at such an exciting time in its young history and help it grow.”

Woodbury graduated with a bachelor’s degree in art history from Lake Forest College, a master’s degree in the history of art from Williams College and is currently completing her Ph.D. in American studies at William and Mary.

The Barry Art Museum is positioned at the gateway to Old Dominion University, at 1075 W. 43rd Street in Norfolk, Virginia. Opened in 2018, the Museum features a glass sculpture collection from internationally recognized artists, which contributes substantially to the region’s growing reputation as a glass art center. The Museum’s collection also includes American modernist paintings, historic and antique dolls, and automata. The Museum is committed to expanding its collection to support a diverse body of work from contemporary and living artists.

Old Dominion University, located in Norfolk, is Virginia’s forward-focused public doctoral research university with approximately 23,500 students, rigorous academics, an energetic residential community and initiatives that contribute $2.6 billion annually to Virginia’s economy.










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