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The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

MFA Boston Announces Curatorial Appointments

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) has named Christopher Atkins the inaugural director of its Center for Netherlandish Art. Established following a transformative gift from longtime MFA supporters Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo and Susan and Matthew Weatherbie in 2017, the new research center is dedicated to scholarship on Dutch and Flemish art of the early modern period and will launch in 2020. Atkins comes to the institution from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where he serves as associate curator of European painting and sculpture before 1900 and manager of its curatorial digital program and initiatives.

The MFA will welcome Ethan Lasser as the new chair of the Department of Art of the Americas on September 16. Lasser currently serves as curator of American art and head of the division of European and American art at the Harvard Art Museums, where he cocurated the upcoming exhibition “Winslow Homer: Eyewitness,” opening in the fall. In his new role, he will shape the department’s exhibition program and organize publications and other initiatives. Lasser succeeds Elliot Bostwick Davis, who served as the department chair for eighteen years before she departed to head the Norton Museum of Art in 2018.

In addition, the museum announced that it has promoted both Kristen Gresh and Karen Haas to senior curators of photographs and Layla Bermeo to associate curator of paintings, effective immediately. Gresh has been working at the MFA since 2012—her first major exhibition at the museum was “She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World” (2013–14)—and Haas has served as a curator of photographs at the MFA since 2001. Haas is responsible for overseeing the Lane Collection, which is comprised of works by major American modernist photographers, including Charles Sheeler, Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, and Imogen Cunningham.

Bermeo joined the MFA in 2016 as an assistant curator of American paintings. Most recently, she organized “Frida Kahlo and Arte Popular,” the museum’s first-ever Kahlo exhibition, and cocurated “Collecting Stories: Native American Art” (2018–19).