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Kymberly Pinder. Photo: Eve Caughey.
Kymberly Pinder. Photo: Eve Caughey.

Kymberly Pinder to Lead Yale School of Art

Kymberly Pinder has been named the new dean of the Yale School of Art, among the most renowned MFA programs in the country. The first woman of color to occupy the position, Pinder will succeed Marta Kuzma, who herself succeeded Robert Storr as dean in 2016 and was the first woman to lead the New Haven, Connecticut, institution, founded in 1869 as the country’s first art school connected to a university. 

Pinder, who earned her Ph.D. from Yale’s art history department in 1995, is currently the acting president of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt). She was previously the institution’s provost and senior vice president of academic affairs. Before joining MassArt, Pinder was dean of the University of New Mexico College of Fine Arts and served as chair of the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism and the director of the graduate program at School of the Art Institute of Chicago. A scholar of murals, race, and representation, Pinder is the author of Painting the Gospel: Black Public Art and Religion in Chicago (University of Illinois, 2016), a guide to public art by Black artists in the city; and editor of Race-ing Art History: Critical Readings in Race and Art History (Routledge, 2002).

“The Yale School of Art provides an unmatched platform for promoting excellence while effecting positive change,” said Pinder, who will begin her term on July 1. “I look forward to working with colleagues and students across the campus, the city, and the globe to extend the boundaries of arts practice and education. Objects and their making unlock and shape dialogues in some of the most transformative ways for both makers and viewers.”