The Nelson-Atkins Names Antonia Boström as Curatorial Director

Posted in museums by Editor on March 1, 2013

Press release (27 February 2013) from the museum:

Antonia BoströmFollowing an international search, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City today announced the appointment of Antonia Boström as Director of Curatorial Affairs, a position that will lead the Nelson-Atkins’s dynamic curatorial team. Boström brings a wealth of experience from art museums in London and the United States, including her current leadership position at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. She will begin her new post at the Nelson-Atkins in May.

“Dr. Boström’s wealth of experience across continents and in institutions with world-class collections made her unequivocally the ideal candidate for this position,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Director & CEO of the Nelson-Atkins. “She brings a depth of scholarship and invaluable skills that will advance the curatorial voice of the Nelson-Atkins toward even higher levels of excellence.”

Boström has pursued art throughout her life, and her scholarship and management skills have led her to the Getty Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Royal Academy of Art, London, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, among others. She is excited to come to Kansas City and work with the esteemed collection at the Nelson-Atkins.

“The museum is at a great moment of transition, with the exquisite new Bloch Building, a gem of architecture, and with the leadership of Julián Zugazagoitia,” Boström said. “I am interested in working with a collection that is so renowned, but that perhaps is not widely enough known, and in discovering what the museum means to Kansas City. I look forward to working with a talented group of curators as we strive to reach new audiences.”

Born and raised in London, the daughter of a paintings conservator, she received her B.A. (1979) in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London University, and obtained her PhD in 1996 from the same institution. She worked in London as museum assistant at the National Portrait Gallery (1980), in the National Art Library and as an assistant curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum (1980-1985), as a commissioning editor at the Grove Dictionary of Art for Macmillan Publishers (1985-1988), and as acting curator of the Permanent Collection of Paintings and Sculpture at the Royal Academy of Arts (1995-96).

Boström, fluent in five languages, spent important years at the Detroit Institute of Arts from 1996 to 2004, working with that institution’s rich collection as an assistant, then associate curator in the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts. While there she was co-author of Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Detroit Institute of Arts, and she was an adjunct professor at Wayne State University.

Since 2004 she has been the Senior Curator and Department Head, Sculpture and Decorative Arts Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Boström led the installation of the Fran and Ray Stark Sculpture Garden and Terrace in collaboration with Richard Meier Architects & Olin Patnership, plus the reinstallation of several Sculpture and Decorative Arts galleries. Among the many she has been involved with are two recent exhibitions at the Getty Museum – Messerschmidt and Modernity and Cast in Bronze: French Sculpture from Renaissance to Revolution.

“On behalf of all the trustees, I am delighted to welcome Dr. Boström to the museum and to Kansas City,” said Sarah F. Rowland, Chair of the Nelson-Atkins Board of Trustees. “Her extraordinary scholarship, her remarkable success in the complex installation of the Stark Sculpture Garden at the Getty, and the breadth of her museum experiences all promise a bright future for her leadership of the Nelson-Atkins’ curatorial goals. We are confident that the arts community of Kansas City will embrace her work at the museum.”

Leaders at the Getty Museum expressed their congratulations to Boström, both for what she has accomplished in Los Angeles and also for her new appointment. “In her nine years at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Dr. Boström has made a major contribution to the development of the collections of sculpture and decorative arts and organized a number of important exhibitions,” said Timothy Potts, Director of the Getty Museum. “The department has thrived under her leadership and she will be sorely missed by all her colleagues here, but they join me in wishing her every success in this well-deserved appointment.”

The Nelson-Atkins was assisted in its search by Naree Viner at Heidrick and Struggles, a top leadership advisory firm.

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