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Press release

Kelly Baum Named Curator in Department of
Modern and Contemporary Art at Met Museum

(New York, June 5, 2015)— Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced today the appointment of Kelly Baum as Curator of Postwar and Contemporary Art in the Museum’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art. For the past five years, Ms. Baum has served as the Haskell Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Princeton University Art Museum, where she was the founding curator of the museum’s department of modern and contemporary art. She will join the Museum on July 1.

In making the announcement, Mr. Campbell said: “I am delighted to welcome Kelly Baum to the Met.  Her broad engagement with post-World War II international art makes her a great asset to the curatorial team headed by Sheena Wagstaff.”

Ms. Wagstaff added: “Kelly will join the department during this exciting period as we reconsider our programming and the visitor experience within the Met’s modern and contemporary art wing and as we look forward to the opening of The Met Breuer. We are extremely fortunate to have found in her a curator for whom research and scholarship are such high priorities. Kelly will bring with her critical thinking and curatorial integrity, as well as close relationships with artists, art historians, and donors.” 

At the Princeton University Art Museum, Ms. Baum organized numerous exhibitions, among them Nobody's Property: Art, Land, Space, 2000–2010 (2010); Doug Aitken: migration (empire) (2010); Felix Gonzalez-Torres: “Untitled” (2013); and the critically acclaimed New Jersey as Non-Site (2013), for which she received a Warhol Curatorial Research Fellowship. She added over 100 works of art to the museum’s collection, and also established an endowed international artist-in-residence program whose guests have included Emre Hüner, Thomas Hirschhorn, Goshka Macuga, and El Anatsui. In addition, she has served as curatorial advisor to Princeton’s campus art committee, during which time she assisted with commissions by Odili Donald Odita and Ursula von Rydingsvard. Prior to her arrival at Princeton, she held curatorial positions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin. 

Kelly Baum holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in art history from the University of Delaware, and a B.A. in art history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has published widely on subjects ranging from Ana Mendieta and Santiago Sierra to the Situationist International in journals such as October, Art Journal, and the Princeton University Art Museum's Record. She has also taught seminars on contemporary art as well as curatorial practice for Princeton University and the curatorial track program at the University of Delaware.

In her new role at the Metropolitan Museum, Ms. Baum will work directly with Sheena Wagstaff on collection development and exhibition programming both at the Museum’s main building and at The Met Breuer, which opens in March 2016. Her appointment marks the latest in a series of recent curatorial hires that reflect the Museum’s expansion of its modern and contemporary department as well as its global reach, including Iria Candela, Estrellita B. Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art; Beatrice Galilee, Daniel Brodsky Associate Curator of Architecture and Design; and Clare Phyllis Davies, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey. 

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June 5, 2015

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