CHICAGO.- The Art Institute of Chicago announced the appointment of Matthew Witkovsky , formerly associate curator of photography at the National Gallery of Art, as the new Chair of the Department of Photography at the Art Institute. Mr. Witkovsky, who will join the museum on January 19, 2009, will oversee the collection management and operations of the department as well as curate photography exhibitions and manage the transition to additional photography galleries in the museum's new Modern Wing.
"I greatly admired Matt's landmark exhibition, Foto , the first sustained look at modern photography from central Europe in the first half of the twentieth century," said James Cuno, President and Eloise W. Martin Director of the Art Institute. "It demonstrates his imagination and skill as a scholar and a curator. I also believe that Matt's work in both European and American art will foster even greater cooperation and collaboration with other departments here at the museum, particularly as we move the modern and contemporary collections into the Modern Wing."
Witkovsky has been first assistant, then associate curator in the Department of Photographs at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. since October 2003; prior to those appointments he was a research associate in the National Gallery's Department of Modern and Contemporary Art. He has also served in various curatorial capacities at the Guggenheim Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Witkovsky's research has centered on early modern European art, including (in addition to photography) the Dada movement and Czech avant-garde art and architecture. He contributed instrumentally to the catalogue and Washington installation of Dada: Zurich, Berlin, Hannover, Cologne, New York, Paris, seen also at the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and at The Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2005 and 2006. Witkovsky has written extensively on central European photography and on the history of the snapshot, or casual photography, in the United States. He is the author of Foto: Modernity in Central Europe (2007) and numerous essays in scholarly journals such as the History of Photography, Art Bulletin, October, and Cahiers du Musée national d'art moderne.
Witkovsky received his undergraduate degree in literature from Yale University and M.A. and Ph.D. in the history of art from the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a visiting fellow at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and an Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow at the National Gallery of Art. His work has also been recognized with many awards from the scholarly community, including the Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Award from the College Art Association for The Art of the American Snapshot , the American Association of Museum Curators Award for Dada, and the Kraszna-Krausz Award for Foto.