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Monica Obniski.
Monica Obniski.

High Museum of Art Names Monica Obniski Curator of Decorative Arts and Design

The High Museum of Art in Atlanta announced today that Monica Obniski has been appointed curator of decorative arts and design. Obniski currently serves as curator of twentieth- and twenty-first-century design at the Milwaukee Art Museum. She will join the High, where she will oversee exhibitions and programming as well as its collection of more than 2,300 objects, on March 16. Obniski will also lead the museum’s Piazza activations, a multiyear initiative that launched in 2014 to animate its outdoor space with site-specific commissions.

“Monica is a forward-thinking curator with a proven track record of achievement organizing compelling exhibitions, creating new scholarship and building strong collections,” said museum director Rand Suffolk. “These accomplishments, combined with her commitment to expanding the field and engaging diverse audiences, make her perfectly positioned to lead the continued growth of our decorative arts and design department.”

Obniski began her career in the American wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art before she went on to work at the Art Institute of Chicago from 2007 to 2014, including four years as assistant curator of American decorative arts. Obniski joined the Milwaukee Art Museum in 2015. During her tenure, she organized “Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890–1980,” with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); “Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America” (2018) with the Denver Art Museum; and “Jaime Hayon: Technicolor” (2017–18) and reinstalled the institution’s modern and contemporary design galleries for its November 2015 reopening.

Commenting on her new role, she said: “I am excited to contribute to the High’s mission centered on diversity, inclusion, and accessibility as well as build on the museum’s noteworthy decorative arts and design collection. As a curator and historian who is committed to the discursive power of design, I look forward to connecting with Atlanta’s architecture and design communities and to convening conversations around meaningful topics.”