Meet the Staff: Oceanic Art
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.
Maia Nuku was born in London and is of English and Maori (Ngai Tai) descent. Maia's doctoral research focused on eighteenth century collections of Polynesian art and she completed two post-doctoral fellowships at Cambridge University (2008–2014) as part of an international research team exploring Oceanic collections in major European institutions. Her first exhibition at The Met On Country: Australian Aboriginal Art from the Kaplan-Levi Gift (2017) focused on the ways in which ancestral connections are expressed in contemporary Aboriginal art. Her most recent exhibition, Atea: Nature and Divinity in Polynesian Art (2018–2019) centered indigenous Pacific perspectives to explore the close material and genealogical networks that bind Polynesian gods and chiefs with Nature.
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.
Lauren Posada joined the department in the fall of 2019 as a preventive conservator during the renovation and reinstallation of The Michael C. Rockefeller Wing. With a specialization in textiles, she previously worked as a conservator at the Museum at FIT focusing on the treatment, care, and exhibition of their historic costume collection. Lauren received her Master of Arts in fashion and textile studies with a concentration in conservation and collections care from the Fashion Institute of Technology, and a BFA from Pratt Institute.
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.
Maggie Wander is a Ph.D. Candidate in Visual Studies at the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC). Her dissertation focuses on contemporary art of Oceania that engages with climate change and colonial history, and has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the Luce Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies, and UCSC. Her writing has appeared in the Journal of New Zealand and Pacific Studies, The Contemporary Pacific, Media Fields Journal, and more. She has presented her research at the College Art Association, the European Society for Oceanists, and the University of California. Maggie was a founding editor for Refract: An Open Access Visual Studies Journal and is currently co-executive editor of Pacific Arts, the journal of the Pacific Arts Association.
“Making New Histories: Contemporary Art in Oceania and the Temporal Orientations of Climate Change.” Journal of New Zealand and Pacific Studies 9, no. 2 (2021): 155-178.
“Navigating the Climate Crisis: Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner’s Creative Constellations.” Spectator 41, no. 1 (2021): 28-38.
“The Karrabing Film Collective: ‘Talking Back’ to Ethnographic Media and Mineral Extraction in Australia.” Media Fields Journal 15 (2020).
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.