Meet the Staff: Arts of Africa
Christine Giuntini is responsible for textile and organic artifact conservation in the department. She has created or refined the mounting and exhibition techniques for flat and complex artifacts in more than thirty Museum exhibitions. Her research focuses on the study of materials and methods of manufacture of African and Indonesian ethnographic textiles; archaeological feather works and fabrics from South America; and composite works from Africa, Oceania, and the New World. She has contributed to the Museum's publications, including technical essays for The Essential Art of African Textiles: Design without End, (2008) and Peruvian Featherworks: Art of the Precolumbian Era.
Born in Lubumbashi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Alisa LaGamma spent her formative years in sub-Saharan Africa. Graduate studies in African art history at Columbia University led her to undertake research in southern Gabon on the living tradition of masks that culminated in her 1995 dissertation “The Art of the Masquerade: Portrait of an Equatorial Society.” A curator at the Metropolitan since 1996, her exhibition projects devoted to topics ranging from authorship to portraiture have sought to anchor African art historically and conceptually. In 2010 she was a fellow at the Center for Curatorial Leadership and in 2012 the Bard Graduate Center recognized her work with the Iris Award for Outstanding Scholarship.
LaGamma, Alisa. Eternal Ancestors: The Art of the Central African Reliquary (The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press, 2007).
———. Heroic Africans: Legendary Leaders, Iconic Sculptures (The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press, 2011).
———. Kongo: Power and Majesty (The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press, 2015).
———. Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara (The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press, 2020).
———. "Silenced Mbembe Muses." Metropolitan Museum Journal 48 (2013): 143–160.
Matthew Noiseux began his career at the Museum working as part of the staff of the Department of Greek and Roman Art on the reinstallation of the Greek and Roman galleries, which opened in April 2007. He joined the staff of the Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas in 2013. He holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MS from Columbia University.
Raychelle Osnato joined the department in 2020 to implement and construct new storage housing for the collection during the renovation of The Michael C. Rockefeller Wing. She received her BA in Art Conservation and Art History at the University of Delaware in 2019. She was previously a conservation assistant at the RISD Museum where she treated Samurai artifacts, ceramics, and decorative art objects for exhibitions including, Raid the Icebox Now and Daimyo Culture in Peacetime. She has past experience in paintings conservation at Winterthur Museum and archaeological conservation of mosaics with the Centro di Conservazione Archeologica (CCA) in Italy.
Jenny Peruski's research focuses on material and visual cultures along the Indian-Ocean coast of Africa. She received her B.A. in Art History & Near Eastern Languages and Cultures in 2012 from Indiana University, before pursuing an M.A. in Arab and Islamic Civilizations at the American University of Cairo. She completed a second M.A. focusing on art history in sub-Saharan Africa at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2018. Currently, Jenny is working on her doctoral dissertation at Harvard University focusing on the production of women’s artistic and social spheres in Lamu, Kenya in the nineteenth century.
"Portal Patinas: Value and Violence in Carved Doors on the Swahili Coast." In The Seas and Mobility of Islamic Art, edited by Radha Dalal, Sean Roberts, and Jochen Sokoly, 142-161+306-307. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2021.
"Fetishizing the Foot: Mobility and Meaning in Indian Ocean Sandals." African Arts 53:3 (Autumn 2020): 58-71.
Imani Roach joined the department in 2021 as Senior Research Associate to provide research support for the re-envisioning of the Africa galleries. Recently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Visual Studies at Haverford College, Imani has designed and taught courses on the arts of Africa at the University of Pennsylvania, California College of Art and elsewhere. Her editorial roles have included Interviews Editor and Senior Editor at Guernica Magazine and Managing Editor of The Artblog. Imani earned a BA in Art History from Stanford University and an AM in History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University. Her doctoral research, in African and African American Studies at Harvard, reconsiders photojournalism from the South African, apartheid-era Drum Magazine.
David Rhoads is responsible for the proper care and display of the department's collection. He joined the Museum in 2015, after having previously held the position of associate preparator at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. He received his BFA in painting from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2010.
Doris Zhao joined the department in 2018 to undertake research relating to the renovation and reinstallation of The Michael C. Rockefeller Wing. She was previously the curatorial assistant at The Studio Museum in Harlem, where she organized exhibitions including Harlem Postcards: Wish You Were Here; Regarding the Figure; and Surface Area: Selections from the Permanent Collection. In addition, she was the co-curator of a curious blindness at The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Gallery and has contributed essays to various publications, including Prospect 5: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp; Fictions; and Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem.