Joslyn hires new contemporary curator


April 17th, 2012

Omaha, NE – The Joslyn Art Museum hopes to expand its contemporary art presence, with a new curator at the helm.

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The Joslyn has been without a contemporary art curator since November, 2004. But as of June 1st, the museum will have a fresh, young face at the post: Karin Campbell, a 2006 graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. Campbell is also a Master’s graduate from Bard College in New York. She comes to Omaha from the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, where she spent four years as an assistant in the contemporary art department.

Karin Campbell comes to Omaha after working for four years as an assistant at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, and an independent curator for national and international exhibits. (Photo courtesy Joslyn Art Museum)

“Karin is a really wonderfully dynamic and up-and-coming curator,” said Jack Becker, executive director and CEO of the Joslyn Art Museum. She “has a great understanding of museums and of contemporary art on a national and an international level,” he said, “great experience organizing exhibitions, thinking about collections, and really brings a … great energy and sort of broad understanding and national perspective I think on contemporary art to Omaha.”

Campbell has worked as an independent curator since 2009, and, according to the Joslyn, was the first American curator to work on the annual Espai 13 exhibit in Barcelona. Her new position at the Joslyn is only the second endowed curatorial post at the museum, and Becker said it represents a “permanent commitment to contemporary art.”

“I think that Karin will create a program through exhibitions, through collections and through programming that engages a wide audience about larger national currents in contemporary art, and sort of gives a voice to artists of our time,” he said.

Becker said Campbell’s appointment doesn’t represent a new direction for the museum, but will expand on its “encyclopedic, comprehensive” focus on art through the ages.

In a statement, Campbell said she hopes to expand the Joslyn’s contemporary holdings, develop “dynamic public programming” and re-imagine its presentation of contemporary art. She said she has “long been captivated” by the relationship between arts organizations and the cities where they’re based. She said she’s excited to come to work in Omaha, “a city clearly committed to the arts.”

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