Story posted April 17, 2009
Kevin Salatino has been named director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.
Salatino has served as Head of the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) since 2000, following nine years as Curator of Graphic Arts at the Getty Research Institute.
At Bowdoin, Salatino will oversee the more than 14,000 items in the museum's collections and manage its staff, programs and budget.
He'll be responsible for the museum's exhibition program and publications, its educational activities within and beyond the College, and the development of its collections.
"An accomplished scholar and curator, Kevin brings a breadth of experience, energy and excitement at this pivotal moment in the museum's history," says Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd.
"Kevin's wide-ranging expertise with prints and drawings aligns remarkably well with the strengths of the Bowdoin collection in works on paper. We know that he will help build new connections throughout the curriculum with the extraordinary collection of our wonderful museum, that he will invigorate our collaborations with other college museums and museums in the state of Maine and beyond, and that he will lead programming of national and international stature."
The Bowdoin College Museum of Art, one of the oldest college art collections in the nation, began with a gift of 70 paintings and a portfolio of Old Master drawings bequeathed to the College by James Bowdoin III in 1811. Its current collections encompass more than 14,000 objects in categories including Ancient; European; American; Non-Western; Modern and Contemporary; and Prints, Drawings and Photography.
The museum celebrated its public reopening on October 14, 2007, following a two-year, $20.8 million renovation and expansion of the Walker Art Building. The design, by architects Machado and Silvetti Associates of Boston, integrates the museum's traditional features with a dramatic new entry pavilion, an inviting glass curtain wall and a complete renovation of the entire interior of the building. This includes an underground expansion, which provides 43 percent more space than the original building while preserving the landmark structure. The number of galleries has been increased from nine to 14. Other improvements include enhanced visitor access, a new classroom, an upgraded climate control system and a state-of-the-art storage facility.
The expansion and renovation project enhances the museum's role as a central component in campus life and the leading edge of arts and culture at Bowdoin.
Salatino, who succeeds Katy Kline as museum director, begins at Bowdoin in August 2009.
"I am thrilled at the prospect of leading the Bowdoin College Museum of Art into its very bright future," says Salatino.
"After an impressive renovation and expansion, the museum is poised for great things, and I have no doubt that it will become a leader and an exemplar among college and university art museums and beyond.
"Bowdoin College has always made the arts an integral part of its curriculum, and the museum is the concrete commitment to its belief in the importance, even urgency, of the visual arts to an undergraduate's education."
Salatino earned a bachelor's degree at Columbia University and a doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania, where his dissertation was The Frescoes of Fra Angelico for the Chapel of Nicholas V: Art and Ideology in Renaissance Rome. He was also a member of the art history faculty at Middlebury College.
Salatino was one of 10 outstanding curators from art museums and institutions across the United States selected for the 2009 Center for Curatorial Leadership fellowship program.
Salatino has published and lectured widely in his areas of expertise (from the Italian Renaissance to James Ensor), and has curated numerous exhibitions, including Picasso's Greatest Print: The Minotauromachy in all its States, The Prints of Ed Ruscha, and Van Gogh to Picasso: 19th- and 20th-Century French Master Drawings from LACMA.
His book, Incendiary Art: The Representation of Fireworks in Early Modern Europe (The Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities: Los Angeles, 1997), will soon appear in a French edition, and he is currently writing a book about the erotic drawings of Henry Fuseli.