Ronni Baer, Eminent Museum Curator and Scholar, Named Princeton University Art Museum’s Allen R. Adler, Class of 1967, Distinguished Curator and Lecturer

Distributed February 19, 2019

PRINCETON, N.J. – James Steward, director of the Princeton University Art Museum, today announced the appointment of Ronni Baer, Ph.D., to be the next Allen R. Adler, Class of 1967, Distinguished Curator and Lecturer. A scholar of Dutch, Flemish and Spanish art and of the history of collecting, Baer has served since 2000 as the senior curator of European paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She will begin her new position at Princeton May 1, 2019.

       The Adler Distinguished Curatorship is designed to enhance the Museum’s established leadership in European art from the medieval to modern periods as well as further enrich the tradition of object-based teaching at Princeton, including preparing undergraduates and graduates for careers in museums and the academy. Accomplished and active international scholars and museum professionals, Adler curators work collaboratively with the Museum’s curatorial team and as lecturers in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton.

       The Adler Distinguished Curatorship was made possible by a $4.5 million gift from Allen Adler, a member of Princeton's Class of 1967, and his wife, Frances Beatty Adler. The gift, bestowed in 2012, facilitated the endowed curatorship and an accompanying program fund at the Princeton University Art Museum. John Elderfield served as the inaugural Adler Distinguished Curator; he retires April 30, 2019.

       “Ronni Baer is intellectually lively, an inspired scholar and has spent her career in support of the power of the original work of art,” said James Steward, Nancy A. Nasher—David J. Haemisegger, Class of 1976, director. “Ronni will be a passionate teacher, curator and scholar, and we’re delighted to welcome her to Princeton.”

       Baer received her Bachelor of Arts in French literature from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and was awarded her Master of Arts and doctorate in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

       Prior to joining the M.F.A., Baer held curatorial positions at the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University, National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum and the Frick Collection in New York.

       Baer has curated or co-curated many acclaimed international exhibitions, including M.C. Escher: Infinite Dimensions (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2018); Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 2015-2016; Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, 2016),  Still Life from the MFA, Boston: Tradition and Innovation (Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts, 2011-2012;  North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, 2012-2013; B & M Theocharakis Foundation, Athens, Greece, 2013); El Greco to Velázquez: Art during the Reign of Philip III (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2008; Nasher Museum at Duke University, 2008);  Rembrandt’s Journey: Painter • Draftsman • Etcher (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: 2003-2004; Art Institute of Chicago, 2004); and Gerrit Dou (1613-1675): Master Painter in the Age of Rembrandt (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 2000; Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, 2000; The Mauritshuis, The Hague, 2000-2001).

       Among the publications, catalogues and scholarly articles she has authored are “In Search of Major Masters: Boston's History of Collecting Flemish Baroque Painting,” in America and the Art of Flanders (The Frick Collection, New York, 2018), "A Painter's Painter: El Greco and Boston," in El Greco Comes to America: The Discovery of a Modern Old Master (The Frick Collection, New York, 2017); and several articles on the paintings of Gerrit Dou.

       Baer has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the history of European art at New York University, Emory University and the University of Georgia. She has been honored with numerous awards throughout her career, including Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau from King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands (2017), Encomienda de la Orden de Isabel la Católica from King Juan Carlos I of Spain (2008) and the Theodore Rousseau Fellowship, Metropolitan Museum of Art (1988-1989).

       “If I could have written the description for my dream job – one combining the opportunity to collaborate on major scholarly exhibitions and to teach at one of the best universities in the world – this would be it,” said Baer. “I am deeply honored and excited to be joining the museum’s team at Princeton.”

About the Princeton University Art Museum

       With a collecting history that extends back to 1755, the Princeton University Art Museum is one of the leading university art museums in the country, with collections that have grown to include more than 100,000 works ranging from ancient to contemporary art and spanning the globe. Its collections of Chinese painting, the art of the ancient Americas and photography are widely regarded as being among the world's finest. 

       A private institution serving the public good, the Museum is committed to serving the University, local and regional communities, and beyond through a dynamic program of temporary exhibitions, new scholarship and innovative programming. By collaborating with experts across many disciplines, fostering sustained study of original works of art, and uniting scholarship with broad accessibility, the Museum contributes to the development of critical thinking and visual literacy at Princeton University and enhances the civic fabric of our nation.

       The Museum also serves as a gateway to the University for some 200,000 visitors each year. Intimate in scale yet expansive in scope, it offers a respite from the rush of daily life, a revitalizing experience of extraordinary works of art and an opportunity to delve deeply into the study of art and culture. The Museum is located at the heart of the Princeton campus, a short walk from the shops and restaurants of Nassau Street, and is free and open to the public. 

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