From the Director - Spring 2014

The AMAM has long emphasized not only its important academic outreach to Oberlin College students and faculty, but also its vital role in providing innovative educational experiences for the local and regional communities. Since its founding, the museum has always been free and open to the public, and has presented a wide range of compelling programs for visitors of all ages. A crucial aspect of this is our Education Department, headed since 2006 by curator Jason Trimmer. I am delighted to be able to announce that henceforth this position will be titled the Eric & Jane Nord Family Curator of Education, thanks to an extremely generous gift to fully endow it from the Eric & Jane Nord Family Fund.

The endowment of the education curatorship follows closely on the heels of the endowment of the museum’s Asian curatorship. I am very happy to share the news that the AMAM has completed a national search for the inaugural Joan L. Danforth Curator of Asian Art, and will welcome Dr. Kevin Greenwood as assistant curator later this spring. You’ll be learning more about Kevin in our next newsletter, after he has had a chance to begin working with our outstanding Asian collection.

As I write on a blustery winter day, it is nice to look ahead to the many exhibitions and events planned for spring and summer 2014. Between Fact and Fantasy: The Artistic Imagination in Print—the first exhibition organized by Andaleeb Banta, curator of European and American art—provides a great contrast to our overarching realism theme for 2013–14, while a variety of other new exhibitions and installations by our talented staff highlight diverse aspects of this movement. Among other guests we look forward to welcoming Philip Yenawine and Fred and Laura Bidwell for First Thursday presentations, and hope you’ll plan to come to some of our exciting programs.

Preparatory work continues toward the full cleaning and restoration of the King Sculpture Court ceiling; please take a moment to glance upwards—and not just at the art on our walls—when you visit. The initial results are quite spectacular, and testify to how marvelous this area will look when the project is complete.

The King Sculpture Court was named in honor of the AMAM’s first curator, Hazel B. King, and last year marked the 75th anniversary of her having founded the Friends of Art. Wishing to encourage new Friends and to provide tangible benefits to them, we have revamped our membership structure. We hope very much that you will become a museum member, if you haven’t already, and we are grateful to the many long-time Friends whose steadfast support enables the AMAM to thrive.

Andria Derstine
John G. W. Cowles Director