American art specialist Elizabeth Welch, Ph.D., has been named Assistant Curator of American Art at the Munson Museum of Art, Utica, New York. An established scholar of 19th and 20th-century American painting, sculpture, and works on paper, Welch brings a distinguished background in museum and teaching experience to Munson’s renowned collection of American art from the 1780s to the early 1900s.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis, Welch holds advanced degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship at the Blanton Museum of Art. She later served as a research assistant at the Museum of Modern Art in New York before moving into undergraduate teaching at Providence College in Rhode Island. Welch has worked on subjects as diverse as the interplay between dance and art, photography’s relationship to sculpture, and the modern fascination with death and the human body (for which she received critical acclaim from both Hyperallergic and The New York Times). She has also authored noted studies of important 20th-century art patron Lincoln Kirstein and artists George Platt Lynes and Joseph Cornell.
In addition to leading Munson’s efforts to diversify its collection of 19th- and early 20th-century American art, Welch will oversee exhibitions and installations of American art that resonate with new interpretations.
“I am thrilled to join the Munson community,” Welch said. “The opportunity to build on the Museum’s existing strengths while highlighting the contemporary importance and diversity of American art is a dream.”
Museum Director and Chief Curator Stephen Harrison praised Welch’s accomplishments and heralded a new era of stewardship of Munson’s spectacular American art collections that include works by luminaries such as Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, William Harnett, William Merritt Chase, and Reginald Marsh.
“Elizabeth Welch is one of America’s new generation of visitor-centered curators, eager to rethink accepted ways of looking at American art to make this important national legacy relevant to an audience of both today and tomorrow,” Harrison said.