WASHINGTON, DC.- The Smithsonian American Art Museum
has enhanced its curatorial staff with four new appointmentsLisa Hostetler, Karen Lemmey, Michael Mansfield and Leslie Umbergerwho will bring fresh perspectives to interpreting the museums collection and future exhibitions. Hostetler is the museums new curator of photography. Lemmey is the new curator of sculpture. Mansfield is the associate curator of film and media arts. Umberger is the new curator of folk and self-taught art. Each will be responsible for research, exhibitions and acquisitions related to the museums collection. These four join eight curators currently on staff for contemporary art, craft and decorative art, Latino art, media art, works on paper and 19th- and 20th-century painting.
Mansfield has been at the museum since 2006 and starts his detail as associate curator Sept. 3.Hostetler begins work at the museum Sept. 10, and Lemmey and Umberger begin Sept. 24.
These new curatorial voices add terrific energy to the museums initiatives and will move us closer to our goal of creating a curatorial center at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, said Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Each new curator oversees significant collection strengths and will present those collections in the galleries and online, with new ideas about global connections and interpretive strategies, said Virginia Mecklenburg, the museums acting chief curator. I am delighted that so many stars in their respective fields are committed to the future of the museum and its collections.
Hostetler comes to the museum from the Milwaukee Art Museum where she was the curator of photography from 2005 to 2012. Recent exhibitions include Taryn Simon: Photographs and Texts (2011), Street Seen: The Psychological Gesture in American Photography (2010) and Unmasked & Anonymous: Shimon & Lindemann Consider Portraiture (2008). She earned a doctorate from Princeton University in 2004 and wrote her dissertation on the photography of Louis Faurer.
Lemmey is research associate at The Metropolitan Museum of Art for the exhibition The American West in Bronze, 1850-1925 (2013). She was recently an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow at the New-York Historical Society. Lemmey earned a doctorate in art history and certificate in American studies from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 2005 and wrote her dissertation on sculptor Henry Kirke Brown and the development of public monuments.
Mansfield has been involved in conservation, research, acquisition and installation of media art in the museums collection. Currently, he is working with John G. Hanhardt, the museums senior curator for media arts, on the upcoming exhibition Nam June Paik: Global Visionary, which opens Dec. 13. He earned a masters degree in digital media and electronic art from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Md. in 2007.
Umberger comes to the museum from the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisc. where she had been senior curator of exhibitions and collections since 2001. She has curated more than 50 exhibitions, specializing in the work of folk, self-taught and vernacular artists with an emphasis on art environments. Her most recent exhibition is Emery Blagdon: The Healing Machine (2012). In 2007, she organized Sublime Spaces & Visionary Worlds: Built Environments of Vernacular Artists, the largest exhibition ever held at the Kohler Arts Center. Umberger earned a masters degree in art history in 1998 from the University of Colorado at Boulder.