I’ve followed a fairly straightforward career path since graduating with honors in art history from Carleton in 1993. I never doubted that I wanted to pursue a career in art history—although it took me some time to sort out whether I wanted to be an academic or a curator. Upon graduating, I worked as a research assistant for Elisabeth Sussman at the Whitney Museum while I applied to graduate school. In 1994, I enrolled in the Ph.D. program at Columbia University where I studied with the legendary Benjamin Buchloh and Rosalind Krauss. While there, I flirted with the idea of going into teaching full time and, before and after completing my degree in 2006, I taught courses to undergraduates and graduate students at Columbia, the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington D.C., and the Bard Center for Curatorial Studies in upstate New York.
Still, I was savvy enough to realize that I needed to get some curatorial credentials under my belt. To that end, I organized the exhibition Arte Povera: Selections from the Sonnabend Collection at Columbia’s Wallach Gallery in 2001 and accepted a full time position as the Janice H. Levin Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art in 2003. While there I worked on the exhibitions Edvard Munch: The Modern Life of the Soul and Greater New York 2005 and I gained valuable expertise in the ins and outs of curating and of the art world more generally. 2006 was a big year for me. Not only did I (finally) complete my dissertation but, more importantly, I gave birth to a twin girl and boy. After some debate, I decided to leave MoMA and work independently so that I could have a more flexible schedule. Luckily, my dissertation opened many doors for me and I was invited to write for numerous exhibition catalogues and journals related to my field in 1960s Italian art. I also returned to teaching. However, I never forgot my curatorial ambitions and, in 2009, I co-curated an exhibition of contemporary art entitled The Storyteller with a close friend from graduate school. The exhibition was organized by Independent Curators International and it traveled to the Salina Art Center, Kansas; the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons, The New School for Design, New York; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid.
In 2010 I received a call from a graduate school colleague who is the editor at the Drawing Center in New York. He told me that they were looking for a new curator and suggested I apply for the job. I was hesitant at first as I relished my independence and the time I got to spend with my kids. But I have long been an avid admirer of the Drawing Center and I knew the opportunity was too good to pass up. I have now been at the Drawing Center for two years. I love my job and my now six year-old twins are thriving—with a working Mom! I curated my first show at the Drawing Center in 2011—Drawn from Photography —an exhibition which is just finishing up a stint at the De Paul Art Museum in Chicago. I am also excited to report that the Drawing Center is scheduled to re-open on November 3rd after a major expansion and renovation. We are still at 35 Wooster in Soho—but in bigger and better digs—so please stop by and say hello if you are ever in New York!