August 29, 2011 — Jennifer Farrell, whose scholarly research, writing, foundation and curatorial work focuses on modern and contemporary art, joined the University of Virginia Art Museum staff Aug. 15 as curator of exhibitions. She will be in charge of developing in-house exhibitions, working with outside curators to formulate future projects and advising on museum purchases, among other duties.
Farrell brings a depth of experience working with museums, galleries and foundations to further their exhibition, publication and outreach efforts.
Since 2010, she was director of The Nancy Graves Foundation in New York, an organization focused on giving grants to artists and to preserving and exhibiting the work of artist Nancy Graves. Prior to that, she was at the Yale University Art Gallery for three years, first as the Florence B. Selden Senior Curatorial Fellow and then assistant curator in the Department of Prints, Drawings and Photography.
"The museum is pleased to welcome Jennifer Farrell as our new curator of exhibition," museum director Bruce Boucher said. "She comes to us with a distinguished record of scholarship and curatorial experience at the City University of New York, the Museum of Modern Art and the Yale University Art Gallery."
Farrell has lectured and written extensively about modern and contemporary art for numerous institutions, including Christie's, the Museum of Modern Art and the Morgan Library and Museum, and she was an adjunct instructor at Yale University, the American University in Paris, School of the Visual Arts in New York City, New York University and other institutions.
"I am thrilled to join the U.Va. community and look forward to working with my colleagues at the museum and in the art departments and other units to create exhibitions and programs that resonate with the research interests of the university," Farrell said.
In addition to exhibition and curatorial projects for such organizations as White Box gallery in New York, Farrell co-curated a Whitney Museum of American Art exhibit, "Empire/State: Artists Engaging Globalization."
Farrell has authored and edited more than 13 articles and essays.
She developed, organized and contributed to a forthcoming book, "Get There and Decide Promptly: The Richard Brown Baker Collection of Postwar Art," which received a National Endowment for the Arts Award. The book is a comprehensive and contextual history of works in the Baker Collection and Baker's collection strategies. During his life, Baker, who died in 2002, collected the works of contemporary artists like Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Hans Hofmann, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Morris, Richard Tuttle, Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Robert Bechtle, Agnes Martin, Dorothea Rockburne and Christopher Wool.
"Her edition of the collection of Richard Brown Baker will be published in the next months and will underscore her credentials in the study of contemporary art of the past 50 years," Boucher said. "We look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration with her."
Farrell earned her bachelor's in art history at Smith College and her Ph.D. in art history and a certificate in film studies from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She also studied Gothic and Renaissance art and 20th-century European political history at the L'Institut d'Art et Archéologie (L'Université de Paris IV) and L'Institut des Études Politiques.