Endowments for Curatorial Positions

Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
Collections curators such as the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art spearhead acquisitions for the collection, teach in the department of Art History, and collaborate with faculty and students to organize exhibitions and museum-based courses.

The position of curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the AMAM developed from the legacy of Professor Ellen Johnson (1910-1992), who championed contemporary art at Oberlin through artists’ residencies, acquisitions of artworks, and ground-breaking exhibitions including the noted “Young Americans” series.

Today, the AMAM’s post-1945 American holdings are particularly impressive, with superb examples of works from all the major movements, including Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, New Realism, and Photo-Realism, as well as many works in new media such as video art. The AMAM also shares responsibility with Oberlin College for a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house, the first Usonian house in Ohio, located in Oberlin.

The AMAM’s collections of post-1945 art serve nearly all Oberlin College and Conservatory departments, including African-American studies, art, art history, biology, chemistry, comparative American studies, environmental studies, foreign languages and literatures, history, Latin American studies, mathematics, and music and historical performance. Classes regularly visit exhibitions in the Ellen Johnson Gallery and examine works in the Wolfgang Stechow Print Study Room.

Eva Hesse (American, 1936-1970)
Laocoön, 1966
Plastic tubing, rope, wire, papier-mâché, cloth, paint
130 x 23 1/4 x 23 1/4 in. (330.2 x 59 x 59 cm)
Fund for Contemporary Art, and gift from the artist and Fischbach Gallery, 1970.32