The AMAM has made great strides in recent years to permanently secure critical staff positions, an effort that received a boost from the college’s “Illuminate” fundraising campaign. I am delighted to announce that AMAM benefactor and Visiting Committee member Joan L. Danforth, whose husband Robert S. Danforth was a member of OC’s class of 1947, need no longer remain “anonymous” as the donor of $1.5 million who matched the $500,000 challenge grant the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded to the AMAM late last year to endow in perpetuity the position of curator of Asian art at the museum. Once hired, the curator will be known as the Joan L. Danforth Curator of Asian Art, and will oversee the AMAM’s impressive collection of more than 3,500 Asian works.The AMAM is currently raising funds to complete another challenge grant, this one from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to endow the Office of the Curator of Academic Programs. Please contact me if you are interested in learning more.
In other staff news, we’ve been happy to warmly welcome several new colleagues at the museum over the past months, including Andaleeb Banta as curator of European and American art, Megan Harding as publications, membership and media manager, Sarah McLusky as curatorial assistant in the Office of Academic Programs, and Christine Super in a newly expanded role as manager of security.
This summer has been quite busy, as we’ve hosted a variety of public programs and prepared new exhibitions that will be used broadly by Oberlin students and faculty in the coming academic year. We also look forward to offering a range of exciting, free public events this fall, including lectures by Robert M. Edsel, author of The Monuments Men, and Linda Nochlin, a scholar renowned for her work on the topic of Realism, the museum’s overarching theme this year.
I certainly hope you’ll be able to visit us in person—not only to experience the new exhibitions and hear our impressive guest speakers, but also to examine the preparatory conservation work carried out on the 1917 ceiling of our King Sculpture Court. Over the summer, conservators from ICA-Art Conservation began the process of test-cleaning several areas. We are very excited to pursue the full cleaning and restoration of this important part of our historic Cass Gilbert building. Indeed it is the unique combination of our historic buildings, wide-ranging collections, and dedicated people—including of course, both staff and supporters like you—that makes the AMAM such an extraordinary place.