Amanda Lahikainen Named Director of OMAA

Posted in museums by Editor on April 3, 2020

Press release (2 April 2020) from the Ogunquit Museum of American Art in Maine (Lahikainen’s scholarship to date has focused on late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century print culture, including the reception and representation of paper money in Britain, ‘imitation banknotes’ during the Romantic period, and British representations of the French Revolution in graphic satire). . .

David Mallen, President of the Board of the Ogunquit Museum of American Art (OMAA) announced today that Amanda Lahikainen, PhD, has been appointed as the museum’s new Executive Director, effective May 1, 2020. The board unanimously approved the appointment on March 23, 2020.

Dr. Lahikainen is currently Chair of the Art Department and a tenured Associate Professor of Art History at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she oversees the art gallery. Mallen said, “After a nationwide search, we are delighted to have selected Amanda as our next Executive Director. She is a gifted administrator and scholar.”

Dr. Lahikainen holds a PhD in art history from Brown University and a BA from Wellesley College. She oversaw and co-curated exhibitions at her college gallery and the Bell Gallery at Brown University, and has worked with local museums in Grand Rapids including the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. She held the Kluge Fellowship at the Library of Congress in 2012 and has attracted grants and fellowships from the Paul Mellon Centre and the Lewis Walpole Library at Yale University. She previously taught at Brown University, Rhode Island College, and Roger Williams University, and she has worked or studied in London and Athens. She is widely published and has lectured and participated on panels across the US and in Canada and Australia.

Mallen added, “Amanda’s credentials are exceptional and will further strengthen the OMAA as we aim to expand our audiences and make our museum even better known. Amanda will relocate to Maine with her family from Grand Rapids. She grew up in Salem and has a summer home in Maine, so she is eager to live year-round in a region she knows and loves.”

Dr. Lahikainen said, “I am honored to lead OMAA with its wonderful collection, its sculpture garden, and strong sense of place. The museum is an important and beloved asset of the region and has a wonderful record of recent growth and accomplishment under my predecessor Michael Mansfield. The commitment of the Board is inspiring. While I have been happy and successful at Aquinas College, this is an opportunity I could not resist when recruited. I look forward to working with the board, staff, volunteers, and the community of artists and donors in Ogunquit and beyond to lead the next exciting chapter in the museum’s life.”

Dr. Lahikainen will replace Interim Executive Director Richard D’Abate, who Mallen said, “has led the museum strongly through the transition, and we are very grateful for his service.” D’Abate was appointed following former Executive Director Michael Mansfield’s appointment as President of Maine Media Workshops and College in Rockport, Maine on December 15, 2019.

Mallen stated, “The OMAA maintains its momentum as a strong and innovative institution, and we are excited for its future. The museum recently rehung the permanent collection and continues with exhibitions, performances, and publications. Its lecture series set attendance records in 2019. The 2020 exhibition season, now tentatively scheduled to begin May 31st, is planned with exciting shows, performances and lectures, subject, of course, to the coronavirus situation.

The search committee was chaired by former board member Diana Joyner and included Board President David Mallen and board members Chris Caraviello, Ann Ramsey-Jenkins, Carol Leary, Robyn LeBuff, and Alan Shepard. The museum retained Principal Marilyn Hoffman and Senior Search Consultant Scott Stevens of Museum Search & Reference, an executive search firm in Manchester, New Hampshire and Boston to conduct the national search.

The Ogunquit Museum of American Art was founded by Lost Generation artist Henry Strater and opened in 1953. Closely tied to one of the earliest art colonies of the American modernist art movement, OMAA today houses a permanent collection of important paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, and photographs from the late 1800s to the present. The museum honors Strater’s vision to preserve and showcase American art by mounting innovative modern and contemporary exhibition programs each year from May through October. OMAA and its three-acre seaside sculpture gardens overlook Narrow Cove and the Atlantic Ocean

YCBA’s Scott Wilcox Begins Phased Retirement

Posted in museums by Editor on April 3, 2020

Press release (31 March 2020) from YCBA:

The Yale Center for British Art announced that Scott Wilcox, Deputy Director for Collections, will begin a two-year phased retirement starting April 1, 2020. Wilcox, who has worked for the Center for his entire career, will immediately take on a new position as Senior Research Scholar. His full retirement will begin on March 1, 2022, concluding a career that spans more than three decades. A search for his successor is forthcoming.

“Scott has shaped the curatorial ambitions of the Center over the past 30 years by enriching our knowledge of and appreciation for works on paper and by bringing significant examples of photography into the collection,” Director Courtney J. Martin said. “As a student at Yale in the early 2000s, I knew of Scott’s great achievements as a curator and scholar. When I returned to the Center as director, I learned that he was also a stellar colleague. Over the next two years, we will have the opportunity to learn more from him as he turns to a research role that will certainly benefit staff, visiting scholars, and visitors to our exhibitions.”

Wilcox received his PhD in the history of art from Yale University in 1985, completing his doctoral dissertation on the nineteenth-century watercolor painter David Cox. He joined the Center as Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings in 1982 and later held the positions of Associate Curator (1991), Curator (1998), Chief Curator of Art Collections, and Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings (2009).

“As I look back on nearly 38 years at the Center, I feel tremendously grateful that I’ve had such a long run in an institution with such great collections, great programs, and great colleagues,” Wilcox said. “I hope I’ve been able to make a positive contribution to what makes the Center special. At different moments I considered moving on, but I always concluded that there was no other place I’d rather be.”

From 1987 to 2014, Wilcox served as the Center’s in-house curator for photographic exhibitions and was instrumental in establishing a collection of photography within the Department of Prints and Drawings through the purchase or gift of works from Charles Isaacs and Carol Nigro and the gift of works from the Joy of Giving Something, Inc.

In 2014, Wilcox was promoted to Deputy Director for Collections, expanding his curatorial role to include all the Center’s collections. In this role, one of five senior leadership positions at the Center, he has overseen the intellectual framework in which the Center’s art is interpreted, as well as the care of the art and growth of the collections. Between 2009 and 2010, Wilcox directed the creation and development of the new Department for Collections Information and Access, which catalogues the Center’s collections electronically and serves as their online platform. Wilcox co-led a team of curators to develop Britain in the World, the reinstallation of the Center’s collections that coincided with its reopening in 2016, following a major building conservation project. This ongoing exhibition offers a new interpretation of the collections that focuses on British art, history, and culture in a global context.

Wilcox’s deep knowledge of works on paper has resulted in many significant exhibitions at the Center: Victorian Landscape Watercolors (also at the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery) in 1992–93; Lucian Freud Etchings from the Paine Webber Art Collection (Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Seattle Art Museum; Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston; Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University; and Carnegie Museum of Art) in 1999–2000; Sun, Wind, and Rain: The Art of David Cox (Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery) in 2008–9; and The English Prize: The Capture of the ‘Westmorland’, an Episode of the Grand Tour (Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford) in 2012–13. These exhibitions were accompanied by major publications with scholarly essays and illustrated catalogues.

“I have known Scott Wilcox throughout his illustrious career at Yale,” said Jules D. Prown, Founding Director of the Yale Center for British Art and Professor Emeritus in the History of Art at Yale University. “Our initial acquaintance began when, as Scott’s professor, I directed his dissertation on the English artist David Cox. Since he knew a great deal about the artist and I did not, it did not require much effort on my part. When Scott applied for a position in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Center, he distinguished himself quickly from the other candidates by the accuracy of his eye in making attributions and aesthetic judgments. Scott is deeply respected by his colleagues, not only for his curatorial and administrative ability but also for his intelligent analysis, conclusions, and leadership.”

In his new role as Senior Research Scholar, Wilcox will assist in the transition to his successor and will cocurate (with Antonella Pelizzari) Photographs of Italy and the British Imagination, 1840–1914, scheduled to open at the Center in fall 2021. The exhibition will showcase the work of British photographers in Italy and consider the ways in which photography shaped the British appreciation and understanding of Italian art, culture, and politics.

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