Museum News | Serena Urry and Esther Bell Move to Cincinnati

Posted in museums by Editor on November 6, 2012

The Cincinnati Art Museum has just announced two appointments: Serena Urry as Chief Conservator and Esther Bell as Curator of European Painting, Sculpture and Drawings. Bell completed her Ph.D. at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, writing on “Charles-Antoine Coypel: Painting and Performance in Eighteenth-Century France,” under the direction of Mariët Westermann and Mark Ledbury. The press release as noted at ArtDaily (30 October 2012) . . .

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The Cincinnati Art Museum announced Serena Urry as Chief Conservator. Before coming to the Cincinnati Art Museum, Serena served as Senior Conservator of Paintings at the Barnes Foundation, preparing its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collection for the historic move to downtown Philadelphia. Prior to that, Serena was Conservator of Paintings at the Detroit Institute of Arts where she conserved paintings ranging in date from the 14th to the 20th century. Among the exhibitions she worked on were American Beauty (2002-2004) and Masterpieces from the Detroit Institute of Arts at TEFAF in 2005.

Serena has a B.A. from Tufts University, and a M.A. in art history and a diploma in Conservation from the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University. She was awarded a residency by the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio in 1996, and a fellowship by Save Venice in Venice in 1999-2000. She has lectured and published about many of the conservation projects she has undertaken. “We are so excited to have somebody of Serena’s experience and insights joining the Art Museum. She will be able to build on the terrific work past Chief Conservators have done to make our art shine forth in all its beauty,” says Cincinnati Art Museum Director Aaron Betsky. Serena grew up in the Boston area and holds dual American and Italian citizenship. She has six nephews and nieces in an extended family that stretches from East cost to the West. Serena looks forward to exploring all that Cincinnati has to offer.

The Cincinnati Art Museum also announced Esther Bell as Curator of European Painting, Sculpture and Drawings. Esther received her doctorate from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University with a specialization in 17th- and 18th-century European art. She received a Masters in the history of art at Williams College and a bachelor of arts from the University of Virginia. With over ten years of experience in some of the nation’s finest museums, Dr. Bell has worked at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Morgan Library & Museum, New York. At the Morgan, she recently organized exhibitions such as Ingres at the Morgan and Rembrandt’s World: Dutch Drawings from the Clement C. Moore Collection.

Dr. Bell lived extensively in Paris during her graduate work; she was a Fulbright Scholar with an affiliation at the Musée du Louvre, Paris and a Theodore Rousseau Fellow in Paris in association with the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has delivered lectures in many distinguished international venues such as the University of St. Andrews, Scotland; the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and she has published numerous articles and exhibition catalogues. “Esther brings an enthusiasm to her art history that is positively electrifying. She combines thorough knowledge and expertise with the desire to have everybody share her love of art, and we look forward to her contributions here,” says Cincinnati Art Museum Director Aaron Betsky. Esther is a self-proclaimed “foodie” and enjoys travel, reading fiction, and yoga. She will move to Cincinnati with her husband, Jason, and they look forward to exploring Blue Grass music, Graeter’s, and the local contemporary art scene.

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