Feb 3, 2016
Adelheid "Heidi" Gealt, director of the Indiana University Art Museum since 1989, has announced her retirement. She assumed the role of director emerita in July 2015. Her successor is Dr. David Brenneman of the High Museum. "We thank Heidi for her many years of service as director," said Lauren Robel, provost of IU Bloomington and executive vice president. "Her leadership helped the museum grow into one of the nation’s finest university museums and one of Bloomington’s true cultural gems." During her tenure, the IU Art Museum established its first National Advisory Board and grew endowments amounting to over $15 million, with another $22 million in documented planned gifts. Three positions are fully supported by endowments, including the Andrew W. Mellon and Anthony J. Moravec Senior Academic Officer. Established in 1941, the IU Art Museum is one of the foremost university art museums in the United States. It houses a wide variety of internationally acclaimed collections, including ancient gold jewelry, African masks and paintings by Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso.
Doug Allen (left) became the first Chief Information Officer at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in 2015. Allen owns a consulting firm that specializes in helping organizations deal with the rapid speed of technological change. “I’m delighted that Doug has a passion for the arts as well as a demonstrated excellence in integrating systems in the for-profit and the not-for-profit worlds,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell CEO & Director of the Nelson-Atkins. As CIO, Allen is responsible for the conception, development, implementation and support of comprehensive information strategies. He ensures the holistic integration of technology to deliver the mission of the Nelson-Atkins, support the staff, and operate the institution. “It’s fascinating to see how many museums have hired CIOs and have invested so much in this position in recent years,” said Zugazagoitia. “I look forward to the Nelson-Atkins joining the national dialogue about enhancing digital platforms that will bring art and people together, generate potential visitors, and provide access to scholars around the world, [while also enhancing] our internal data bases and systems.”
At the Saint Louis Art Museum, Mariah Keller has been appointed head of publications and digital media, where she directs the planning and publication of catalogs and other material relating to collections, exhibitions and education programs. Keller came to the Museum with a distinguished career in editing and publishing, most recently through her company, Keller Editing. She also has edited and managed publication projects at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery and Sackler Gallery, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington. MAHS Board Member Judith W. Mann, Saint Louis Art Museum's curator of European art to 1800, was awarded the Samuel H. Kress Foundation AAMC Affiliated Fellowship for 2015 by the Association of Art Museum Curators and the American Academy in Rome. The fellowship honors exceptional curatorial vision by providing funding for curators to carry out research in Rome. Mann will research stone altarpieces for an exhibition on European painting on stone from the 16th to 18th centuries. Since joining the Museum in 1988, Mann has organized major international exhibitions on Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi (also seen in the Rome’s Palazzo Venezia and the Metropolitan Museum of Art) and Federico Barocci (also seen at the National Gallery, London). The latter received the Association of Art Museum Curators’ Outstanding Monographic Exhibition Award.
Also at the Saint Louis Art Museum, M. Melissa Wolfe joined the staff as curator and head of the Department of American Art. “Melissa Wolfe is an impressive and prolific curator, having organized dozens of groundbreaking exhibitions, symposia, and publications over her career that speak to her creativity and intellectual rigor,” said Jason T. Busch, deputy director for curatorial affairs and museum programs. Wolfe was curator of American art at the Columbus Museum of Art. There her projects included George Bellows and the American Experience (2013), and George Tooker: A Retrospective (2008) were received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Henry Luce Foundation and Terra Foundation for American Art. She also shepherded the acquisition of the Schiller Collection of American Social Commentary Art, 1930-1970. Wolfe received her Ph.D. in history of art at The Ohio State University. Rhiannon Paget joined the staff in 2015 as the Andrew W. Mellon Fellow for Japanese Art. A native of Sydney, Australia, Paget is completing her doctoral dissertation on Japanese art at the University of Sydney. She has held positions at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney and the Clark Center for Japanese Art, Hanford, California. Paget’s projects will include an exhibition on Japanese art donated by Charles and Rosalyn Lowenhaupt.
Lucian H. (Hugh) Shockey Jr. joined the Saint Louis Art Museum as head of conservation, supervising a team of conservators working in the museum’s objects, painting, paper and textiles labs. Shockey worked in conservation for the last 10 years as objects conservator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Lunder Conservation Center, where he has played a key role in large-scale institutional projects and served as a member of the Smithsonian’s Haiti Cultural Recovery Project following the devastating earthquake of 2010. Shockey holds a Master of Science degree in Art Conservation from the University of Delaware. He was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the National Museum of the American Indian, and has worked in at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Elvis Presley’s Graceland. Kristen Watts was appointed director of exhibitions and design, where she plans and supervises all aspects of the museum’s robust exhibition schedule. Watts was director of collections and exhibitions at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC, where she served as project manager of noteworthy exhibitions and catalogs, including Connecting the World: The Panama Canal at 100, and Double Solitaire: The Surreal Worlds of Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy. Watts also was project manager for the Mint's expansion and development in 2010. She holds master’s degrees in applied history and library and information science from the University of South Carolina.