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Kimberli Gant named McKinnon Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

Curator known for trenchant exhibitions, scholarship, and international perspective

NORFOLK, Va. (November 16, 2016) — Kimberli Gant will become the McKinnon Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Chrysler Museum of Art, Museum Director Erik Neil announced today.

Gant currently serves as the Mellon Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Arts of Global Africa at the Newark Museum, in Newark, N.J. She will conclude her fellowship before beginning her new role at the Chrysler in mid-January 2017.

Click to enlarge

Kimberli Gant. Click to enlarge.

"With her bold vision, international perspective, scholarship, and verve, Kimberli Gant will be a valuable addition to the Chrysler Museum’s outstanding curatorial team," Neil said. "She brings strong academic credentials and a breadth of professional experience."

Among the recent exhibitions Gant has curated or co-curated are Wondrous Worlds: Art & Islam Through Time & Place (The Newark Museum, 2016); A Lifelong Adventure: Brandywine Workshop Prints from the Green-Christian Collection (University of Texas, John Warfield Center for African & African Diaspora Studies, 2013); De-Luxe, and New Works: April Woods (The Contemporary Austin, 2012); and There is No Looking Glass Here: Wide Sargasso Sea Re-Imagined (Deutsche Bank America, New York, 2010).

From 2005–2010, Gant served as Curator of Exhibitions and Public Programs at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts in Brooklyn, N.Y. At MoCADA, she curated a number of well-received exhibitions and also initiated a high school and college internship program and graduate school curatorial fellowship.

Gant is in the final stages of completing her dissertation entitled "Eko o ni baje (May Lagos Be Indestructible): Photographic Depictions of Lagos, Nigeria" at the University of Texas at Austin. She holds an M.A. in Art History from Columbia University (2009) and B.A. in Art History from Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif. (2002).

A popular conference lecturer, Gant is also widely published. Her scholarship has been included in publications such as Anywhere But Here: Black Intellectuals in the Atlantic World and Beyond (2015, University Press of Mississippi), ART LIES: A Contemporary Art Quarterly, the journal African Arts, and exhibition catalogues for The Contemporary Austin, the Studio Museum of Harlem, and the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos.

"Kimberli brings to the Chrysler a strong point of view and great expertise," said Chief Curator Lloyd DeWitt. "She has an impressive list of exhibitions and accomplishments. We’re delighted that she’s joining us as the McKinnon Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art."

In her new position at the Chrysler, Gant will be responsible for the study, care, interpretation, and presentation of works of art in the Museum’s rich collection of modern and contemporary art.

"In overseeing our artworks from the mid- 20th century to today, Kimberli’s research and interpretation will only underscore the strength, depth, and quality of a remarkable collection," Neil noted.

"I am thrilled to be working at the Chrysler as the McKinnon Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art," Gant said. "The Museum has an amazing modern and contemporary collection, and fantastic new galleries, which will allow me to experiment," Gant said.

"I love that Chrysler is a part of a growing visual arts community in Norfolk and Hampton Roads," she added. "I’m really looking forward to bringing a new perspective to these objects and producing some exciting exhibitions."


The Chrysler Museum of Art is one of America’s most distinguished mid-sized art museums, with a nationally recognized collection of more than 30,000 objects, including one of the great glass collections in America. The core of the Chrysler’s collection comes from Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., an avid art collector who donated thousands of objects from his private collection to the Museum. In the years since Chrysler’s death in 1988, the Museum has dramatically enhanced its collection and extended its ties with the Norfolk community. The Museum, expanded in 2014 to add additional gallery spaces and amenities for visitors, now has growing collections in many areas. The Chrysler also mounts an ambitious schedule of exhibitions and educational programs and events each season.

The Chrysler Museum of Art, One Memorial Place, Norfolk, and its Perry Glass Studio at 745 Duke St., are open to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The Historic Houses on East Freemason Street are open weekends. General admission is free at all venues.


Contact Amber Kennedy
(757) 340-7425

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