In 2013, the Museum of Fine Arts (MoFA) began its second decade of accreditation by the American Association [Alliance] of Museums. Because the AAM Commissioners had reviewed MoFA catalogues of exhibition by a distinguished roster of guest curators, many of them from the College of Fine Arts, the Commissioners expressly commended the Museum’s “experimentation, commitment to social-issue projects and investigation of themes in highly original exhibitions and projects.”
The earliest Museum Press publication was the annual journal Athanor, begun in 1980 with Professor François Bucher of Art History and now in its 35th year. There were some wonderful exhibitions that preceded MoFA’s initial AAM accreditation: exhibitions such as James Turrell in 1989, curated by Craig Adcock (Art History) who later wrote James Turrell: The Art of Light and Space, 1991; Duane Hanson: The New Objectivity, 1991, curated by Robert Hobbs (Art History), currently holding an Endowed Chair of American Art at Virginia Commonwealth University; and Dimensions of Native America—The Contact Zone, 1998, curated by Jehanne Teilhet-Fisk (Art History) with Robin Franklin Nigh in 1998. From the Department of Art, guest curators Terri Lindbloom and Paul Rutkovsky offered Dispossessed Installations in 1992, while Jim Roche had produced Haiti: Actualities & Beliefs in 1990, as well as the later NEA-supported Unsigned, Unsung—Whereabouts Unknown in 1993; George Blakely curated Bang! The Gun as Image in 1997. These exhibition publications represent part of the Museum Press history before the year 2000 and this list represents faculty from the College of Fine Arts, our homecourt.
Since the new millennium, colleagues working with Museum staff have generated amazing projects. Each collaboration has been an opportunity for original publication and MoFA continues to welcome faculty research in the upcoming season. For Spring 2017, Jeff Beekman is curating Broken Ground: New Directions in Land Art, and in 2018 Dr. Paul Neill, who contributed an essay to Segundo Fernandez’s Cuban Art in the Twentieth Century in 2016, will curate an exhibition of the works of Haitian-born artist Edouard Duval-Carrié. These vivid projects represent the creative strength of faculty research at the College of Fine Arts. The Museum Press takes pride in publishing colorful exhibition catalogues of CFA guest curators. May the tradition continue!