Kathryn Gunsch appointed Associate Curator of Arts of Africa, Asia, Americas, and Pacific
BALTIMORE, MD.- Doreen Bolger, Director of The Baltimore Museum of Art, has announced the appointment of Kathryn Wysocki Gunsch, Ph.D. as Associate Curator and Department Head of the Department of the Arts of Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Pacific Islands.
Gunsch comes to the BMA after having held a variety of curatorial and teaching positions. Over the past several years, she worked as a Graduate Intern at Grey Gallery at New York University during the exhibition Poetics of Cloth: African Textiles/Recent Art and taught as an Adjunct Instructor of art history at Marymount Manhattan College, Montclair State University, and New York University. She most recently studied as the Erwin Panofsky Fellow at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, where her dissertation centered on the original installation pattern for 900 bronze plaques from the 16th-and 17th-century Benin Court, located in present-day Nigeria. She began her academic career at American University. Gunsch’s recent scholarship has focused on museum practice and collection histories. Her article under review for African Arts, “Art and/or Ethnographica? The Reception of Benin Works from 1897-1935,” outlines the history of Benin art in German ethnographic collections.
“We are thrilled that Kathryn has joined us at such a pivotal moment in the BMA’s history,” said BMA Director Doreen Bolger. “The ambitious $24.5 million renovation currently underway will culminate with the renovation and reinstallation of the Museum’s outstanding African collection. Kathryn’s leadership of this project will help us bring updated scholarship, fresh educational perspectives, thoughtful design, and innovative uses of technology to better showcase these remarkable objects.”
In addition to planning the reinstallation of the Museum’s esteemed African collection, Gunsch’s responsibilities at the BMA will include managing the department of the arts of Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Pacific Islands; developing exhibitions, public programs, and new interpretive strategies for the collection.
“I am honored to work for a Museum with such a great collection of African art,” said Kathryn Gunsch. “I look forward to presenting these celebrated works in new, expanded galleries so that museum visitors can even better appreciate them.”
About the BMA African Art
Baltimore Museum of Art
10 Art Museum Drive
Baltimore, MD 21218-3898
about the previous curator: http://users.telenet.be/african-shop/bma-african-art-curator.htm
Yoruba peoples, Nigeria. Bowl-Bearing Figure. Late 19th-early 20th century. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Bernice Barth, Los Angeles, BMA 2010.65
The BMA has one of the earliest and most important collections of African art in the United States. A major gift from the collection of Janet and Alan Wurtzburger in 1954 marked the beginning of a permanent display of African art at the BMA and assured a significant place for African art within the Museum’s growing collection. Now featuring more than 2,000 objects that span from ancient Egypt to contemporary Zimbabwe, the collection includes works from more than 200 African cultures in a full range of media.
The works of art are as diverse in form as they are in function and include headdresses, masks, figures, royal staffs, textiles, jewelry, ceremonial weapons, and pottery. Many pieces are distinguished by their use in royal courts, performances, and religious contexts, and several are internationally known as the best of their type. Highlights of the collection include D’mba, an unparalleled Baga female dance headdress from Guinea and Ngaady Mwash, a stunning Kuba female mask, embellished with paint, beads, and cloth, from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Recent acquisitions include a spectacular mid-20th century thirty-five foot long Kuba Man’s ceremonial skirt, an elegant late-19th to early-20th century Yoruba bowl-bearing figure from Nigeria, and Theo Eshetu’s contemporary light-based video work Meditation – Light (2006).
Friends of the arts of Africa, the Pacific and the Americas
Join this support group to meet other art lovers and learn more about the BMA’s collection of art from Africa, the indigenous Americas, and the Pacific Islands.