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Helen Jean.

Phoenix Art Museum Appoints Helen Jean Curator of Fashion Design

The Phoenix Art Museum has named Helen Jean its new curator of fashion design. Jean first joined the institution as a curatorial assistant in 2007, when curator emerita Dennita Sewell ran the fashion program, and has served as interim curator of fashion design since September 2019. Jean recently curated the exhibition “India: Fashion’s Muse,” which is currently on view until June 21. (All of the museum’s physical spaces are temporarily closed and remain shuttered because of COVID-19 until April 6.)

“On behalf of Phoenix Art Museum and the board of trustees, we are thrilled to appoint Helen Jean to this permanent role overseeing the museum’s extensive fashion design collection and exhibitions,” said Mark Koenig, the institution’s director and chief financial officer. “Not only does Helen bring a depth of experience as a scholar and educator, she also has significant insight into and experience working with the museum’s renowned collection. We are confident she will continue to expand the tradition of innovative scholarship and dynamic exhibitions that our community has come to expect from the museum’s fashion design program.”

Previously, Jean worked as a fashion design instructor with the Art Institute of Phoenix, and most recently, she was a college representative at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. She earned a BFA in Costume Design at Stephens College and an MFA in Fashion Design at the University of Nebraska. Commenting on her new post, she said: “It is an incredible honor to accept this new role, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with and steward this truly exceptional collection as it continues to grow and evolve.”

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