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Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi. Photo: The Cleveland Museum of Art/Howard Agriesti
Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi. Photo: The Cleveland Museum of Art/Howard Agriesti

MoMA Names Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi Curator

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York announced today that Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi will join its Department of Painting and Sculpture as curator. He will take up the post in July and will be responsible for participating in the institution’s acquisitions program, the installation of the collection galleries, and the development of special exhibitions and catalogues.

“I am pleased to welcome Smooth to the curatorial team at MoMA,” said chief curator of painting and sculpture Ann Temkin. “A highly accomplished scholar and curator of African art, Smooth will bring an important perspective as we expand our collection holdings and gallery presentations in new directions across the museum.”

Nzewi comes to MoMA from the Cleveland Museum of Art, where he serves as curator of African art. During his tenure, he organized the upcoming exhibition “Second Careers: Two Tributaries in African Art,” which will open on October 20, as well as “Ámà: The Gathering Place,” a site-specific commission by the Nigerian artist Emeka Ogboh that will be on display beginning August 2. Previously, Nzewi was curator of African art at Dartmouth College’s Hood Museum, where he curated “Eric van Hove: The Craft of Art” (2016) and “Inventory: New Works and Conversations around African Art” (2016), among other exhibitions.

Commenting on his new role, Nzewi said: “I am honored to join MoMA as it continues the necessary task of telling an expansive and more inclusive story of twentieth- and twenty-first-century art. I look forward to collaborating with colleagues across departments in addressing historical gaps through purposeful acquisitions, advancing new programs and exhibitions that enrich our knowledge of global art, and, ultimately, in writing the next chapter in the history of this institution.”