Tacoma Art Museum hires new chief curator

Patricia McDonnell will join the Tacoma Art Museum’s staff as chief curator August 1, the museum announced last week. In this position, McDonnell will augment the artistic direction for the museum’s exhibitions and how they are presented to the public. For the past 11 years, McDonnell served as curator and adjunct art history professor at the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. During her tenure, the museum built and moved to a new expanded facility designed by Frank O. Gehry.
McDonnell’s 19 years of museum experience also include positions at the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design; The Art Museum Association of America; and at Brown University’s Bell Gallery. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Art History at Brown University, Providence, RI; attended Stanford University abroad in Vienna, Austria; attended the Freie Universität in Berlin Germany, and received her B.A. in German Studies from Mills College in Oakland, CA.
McDonnell has received numerous fellowships and grants for research from organizations including the Smithsonian Institution, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the J. Paul Getty Trust, and the German Academic Exchange Service. She has published numerous exhibition catalogues and more than 36 articles on subjects ranging from Marsden Hartley: American Modern to On the Edge of Your Seat: Popular Theater and Film in Early 20th-Century American Art copublished with Yale University Press, currently at the Weisman.