Princeton University Art Museum Names T. Barton Thurber Associate Director for Collections and Exhibitions

PRINCETON, NJ – The Princeton University Art Museum is pleased to announce that T. Barton Thurber will join the Museum staff as the first Associate Director for Collections and Exhibitions, beginning December 3. Thurber will be responsible for the strategic implementation of the Museum's collections activities (including research, installation, and care) as well as for the Museum's ambitious program of temporary exhibitions. Reporting to the Director, the Associate Director will supervise a staff of 10 curators, a campus collections manager, and teams working in registration and collections management; exhibitions services and art handling; and conservation. 

Thurber was most recently curator of European art at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College for the past fourteen years. He received a B.F.A. and B.Arch. from the Rhode Island School of Design, undertook postgraduate studies at the Università IUAV in Venice, Italy, and was awarded a Ph.D. in the history of art from Harvard University.

“I am delighted that Bart has accepted the position as our first Associate Director for Collections and Exhibitions,” said James Steward, Director of the Princeton University Art Museum. “Bart brings with him the experience, leadership, and commitment necessary to bring our curatorial and collections work into the Museum’s next chapter, including coordinating our ever more ambitious programs of special exhibitions and research publications and planning for a new collections storage facility.”

Prior to arriving at Dartmouth, Thurber worked as a research associate at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts and as a postdoctoral curatorial fellow in the department of prints, drawings, and photographs at the National Gallery of Art. He has taught at Harvard University, the University of Maryland, George Washington University, and George Mason University. Thurber’s expertise is in Italian Renaissance art.

During his tenure at the Hood, Thurber significantly enhanced the museum’s European collections through major purchases and gifts of paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings. He also organized a variety of exhibitions, ranging from Renaissance prints to early modern paintings, including European Art at Dartmouth: Highlights of the Hood Museum of Art (accompanied by a 232-page, full-color catalogue) and Alma-Tadema and Antiquity: Imagining Ancient Sculpture in Late-Nineteenth-Century Britain (organized in collaboration with the National Gallery of Art). Thurber also led two studies on facilities issues for the Hood, which have led to the current expansion project being designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien.

Thurber’s appointment is one of three made by Director James Steward to the Museum’s senior leadership team in recent months, as part of a recently completed restructuring. Curtis Scott joined the Museum in July as Associate Director for Publishing and Communications, overseeing all print publications and graphic design as well as public relations and marketing. Scott came to Princeton from the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where over the past twelve years he created a multifaceted and award-winning publications department responsible for all books and catalogues, exhibition graphics, signage, ephemeral publications, and the Institute’s website. Scott began his museum career as an editor in the publications department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art after earning a B.A. in English from the University of Delaware and an M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Additionally, Karen Ohland was named Associate Director for Finance and Operations in August. Before coming to the Princeton University Art Museum, Ohland was the senior administrator for education and concerts & lectures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she worked for nearly 13 years. Prior to her tenure at the Met, Ohland was a biomedical engineer for Howmedica, a medical device manufacturer and subsidiary of Pfizer, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and the San Diego Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Ohland has a B.S. in engineering and a B.A. in biology from Swarthmore College as well as a master’s degree in anatomy from the University of Chicago.