New Director Heads Art Museum
Sharon F. Patton is the new John G.W. Cowles Director of the Allen Memorial Art Museum, the ninth director since its dedication in 1917.
"I think that Oberlin has found the ideal director for the museum," said President Nancy Dye. "Sharon combines the scholarly training and abilities of an excellent art historian with proven administrative interests."
Patton's research interests focus on African-American and West African art. Since 1991 she has been associate professor of art history at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and director of its Center for Afro-American and African Studies since 1996. Her numerous awards and grants include fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Of the nearly 20 exhibitions Patton has organized, three have received considerable critical attention and acclaim: "Memory and Metaphor, the Art of Romare Bearden, 1940-1987," "Home: Contemporary Urban Images by Black Photographers," and "The Decade Show: Frameworks of Identity in the 1980s."
Patton's first book, Memory and Metaphor, the Art of Romare Bearden, was published by the Oxford University Press. African-American Art, also from Oxford, was published this year.
The author of numerous catalogues, articles, essays, and book chapters, Patton's most recent contribution is "A History of Collecting African-American Art" in The David C. Driskell Collection: Narratives of African American Art of the Twentieth Century.
Patton earned her doctorate in art history at Northwestern University in 1980 and a master's degree in art history at the University of Illinois/Urbana. She graduated magna cum laude with a BA degree in the humanities and studio art at Roosevelt University in Chicago.
MARCI JANAS '91