New Position Created to Reimagine Studies in Modern Art for a New Age

The Museum of Modern Art announced the appointment of Leah Dickerman as the first Director of Research Programs. In this new position, Ms. Dickerman will create an integrated strategy to reimagine MoMA’s Studies in Modern Art publication series as a platform for new thinking and research about modern and contemporary art generated by the Museum’s programs, curators, fellows and other researchers engaged with the collection. She will continue to oversee the Mellon-Marron Research Consortium (MRC) partnership between MoMA and five regional graduate art history programs—Columbia University; The Graduate Center, City University of New York; the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University; Princeton University; and Yale University— supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and by Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron, a program she initiated and has directed since 2013. Along with the MRC, she will be charged with creating a unified experience for all fellowship programs across the Museum.

Director Glenn D. Lowry said, “I am thrilled that Leah is stepping into this new role of Director of Research Programs. I can think of no one more uniquely qualified to direct this initiative and ambitiously position the Museum’s cohort of curators, scholars, and fellows as leaders of research and scholarship.” Lowry continued, “Leah has invested the last three years in thinking in new ways about how our platforms can foster thought, discussion, and inspiration. I look forward to seeing her leverage that experience to collaboratively transform Studies in Modern Art and mentor the next generation in the MRC and our other fellowship programs.”

Ms. Dickerman is well-known to MoMA audiences as a respected writer, editor, scholar, and organizer of many acclaimed exhibitions. She was the Museum’s first Director of Editorial & Content Strategy and co-lead of its Creative Team from 2017-present. Under her tenure, MoMA greatly expanded the global audience of its digital platforms; launched the editorial platform Magazine; and introduced wide-reaching innovative programs to continue to share art experiences despite COVID-19 constraints, including Virtual Views and Uniqlo ArtSpeaks. She was a curator in MoMA’s Department of Painting and Sculpture from 2008 – 2015, and the inaugural Marlene Hess Curator of Painting and Sculpture from 2015 – 2017, and her numerous exhibitions offered important new perspectives on modern art. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2019. In her new role she will continue her curatorial practice, proposing exhibitions that grow out of research initiatives developed in this position. She previously served as Acting Head of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Art, and has taught at Princeton University, Columbia University, Stanford University, and the University of Delaware. She holds a Doctorate in Art History and Archaeology from Columbia University. Her new appointment is effective April 22.

Ms. Dickerman said, “MoMA has always been a research-driven institution. New scholarship and new perspectives are critical to fresh and evolving thinking about the artists we show, the stories we tell and the voices we highlight. In this context, a new role that builds on MoMA’s core commitment to research for an innovative age of knowledge production and sharing is an extraordinary opportunity, and I look forward to working with colleagues to realize its potential.”

Studies in Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art launched Studies in Modern Art in 1992 as an annual scholarly journal, to create a publication series that would focus on works of art in the Museum’s collection and on the Museum’s programs. Over ten issues edited by John Elderfield, William Rubin, and other esteemed art historians, Studies focused on such diverse topics as American Art of the 1960s, the art of Assemblage, and Dada in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art. The most recent issue was published in 2014.

The Mellon-Marron Research Consortium (MRC)
The Mellon-Marron Research Consortium (MRC) is a partnership between The Museum of Modern Art and five regional graduate art history programs—Columbia University; The Graduate Center, City University of New York; the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University; Princeton University; and Yale University—supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron. The MRC provides a framework for the Museum’s participation in the training and education of the next generation of art historians and curators. The Mellon-Marron Research Consortium hosts one Fellow from each participating program annually to work with an experienced curator on scholarly curatorial projects at the Museum. The MRC also organizes semi-annual Study Sessions around key holdings in MoMA’s collection. These sessions generate new approaches to and ideas about works in the collection by providing greater access to these objects for a community of art historians, while also developing strong ties across the Consortium community.

Photo by MoMA

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