NGA Announces New Curatorial Staff

Posted in museums by Editor on September 4, 2019

Press release (2 September 2019) from the NGA:

Aaron Wile began in June at the National Gallery of Art as associate curator of French paintings.

The National Gallery of Art announced today new additions to the curatorial staff: Betsy Wieseman, Shelley Langdale, Brooks Rich, and Aaron Wile.

Betsy Wieseman will join the museum as curator and head of the department of northern European paintings. Wieseman is currently chair of European art from classical antiquity to 1800 and curator of European paintings and sculpture 1500–1800 at the Cleveland Museum of Art. She begins her tenure in Washington on November 25, 2019. Shelley Langdale, Brooks Rich, and Aaron Wile joined the Gallery over the course of the summer. Shelley Langdale began her Gallery tenure in May as curator and head of the department of modern prints and drawings. Brooks Rich also joined the Gallery in May as associate curator of old master prints. Aaron Wile arrived at the Gallery in June as associate curator of French paintings.

“We are thrilled to welcome so many talented new staff to the Gallery—their curatorial experience is extraordinary,” said Franklin Kelly, chief curator, National Gallery of Art, Washington. “I look forward to working with them as they engage with our renowned collections with fresh eyes. Their ideas and subsequent projects will energize the museum community and inspire visitors, scholars, and staff for years to come.”

Betsy Wieseman, Curator and Head of Northern European Paintings

Marjorie E. ‘Betsy’ Wieseman is currently chair of European art from classical antiquity to 1800 and curator of European paintings and sculpture 1500–1800 at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Wieseman is a renowned specialist in 17th-century Netherlandish art with an emphasis on Dutch portraiture and genre painting and the work of Peter Paul Rubens. She has also written about portrait miniatures, the technical examination of paintings, and the history of collecting, among other subjects. She previously held curatorial positions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, and the Cincinnati Art Museum. For 11 years she was employed at the National Gallery, London, as curator of Dutch painting 1600–1800 (2006–2012) and as curator of Dutch and Flemish painting 1600–1800 (2012–2017).

As curator and head of northern European paintings—a new position at the Gallery that merges the former curator of northern baroque painting and curator of northern Renaissance painting positions—Wieseman will oversee one of the most important collections in this area outside the Netherlands. Wieseman holds a PhD from Columbia University and an MA and BA from the University of Delaware.

Shelley Langdale, Curator and Head of Modern Prints and Drawings

Shelley Langdale refined her curatorial expertise while working with some of the nation’s foremost collections of works on paper: first the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, then the Cleveland Museum of Art, and, for the past 17 years, the Philadelphia Museum of Art. While her primary focus has been modern and contemporary works on paper, Langdale has organized or collaborated on an unusual range of projects, from an exemplary study and exhibition of Pollaiuolo’s 15th-century engravings in Cleveland to an exhibition of Yoshitoshi’s magnificent color woodcuts in Philadelphia. Widely admired for her professional activity and generosity, she successfully mentored a long line of curatorial fellows and interns at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and was deeply involved with the city’s artists and art organizations. She is also the current president of the Print Council of America, the national professional organization of curators of works on paper.

As the head of modern prints and drawings at the Gallery, Langdale oversees approximately 60,000 prints, watercolors, drawings, and multimedia works on paper. Her initial projects at the gallery include participation in an upcoming set of installations celebrating women artists and donors for the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment; addressing the storage and documentation needs of the Gallery’s growing collections of workshop and artist archives (Gemini G.E.L., Crown Point Press, and the prints of Jasper Johns, among others); and an exhibition drawn from the Gallery’s collection of modern works on paper. Langdale holds an MA from Williams College and a BA from Bowdoin College.

Brooks Rich, Associate Curator of Old Master Prints

Brooks Rich recently completed his PhD in early 16th-century Netherlandish engraving at the University of Pennsylvania, where he wrote his dissertation “The Mystery of the Monogram AC at the Margins of Early European Printmaking.” Rich has an impressive range of curatorial experience in the departments of prints, drawings, and photographs at several leading institutions, including curatorial fellowships at the Rijksmuseum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where he organized the exhibition Rockwell Kent–Voyager: An Artist’s Journey in Prints, Drawings, and Illustrated Books (2012). Rich has also worked at the Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

In his new role at the Gallery, Rich will balance the demands of cataloging, researching, caring for, and organizing exhibitions about the Gallery’s collection of prints and illustrated books dated before 1900. In addition to his PhD, Rich holds an MA from Williams College and a BA from Bowdoin College.

Aaron Wile, Associate Curator of French Paintings

Aaron Wile received his PhD from Harvard University, with a specialization in 17th- and 18th-century French painting. Most recently he was at the University of Southern California (USC) as a postdoctoral fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Humanities. Prior to this academic post, he was a Chester Dale Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and an Anne L. Poulet Curatorial Fellow at The Frick Collection, where he organized the critically acclaimed exhibition Watteau’s Soldiers: Scenes of Military Life in Eighteenth-Century France (2016), the first exhibition devoted to Watteau’s military works. His exhibition catalog essay won an award for excellence from the Association of Art Museum Curators. He is also the recipient of the 2015–2016 James L. Clifford Prize for best article from the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

Wile will take part in the exhibition, research, and acquisition projects related to the Gallery’s French painting collection, with particular attention given to the 17th- and 18th-century works. In addition to his PhD, Wile holds an MA from Harvard University and a BA from Haverford College.

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