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Smithsonian American Art Museum. Photo: Tim Evanson/Flickr.
Smithsonian American Art Museum. Photo: Tim Evanson/Flickr.

Smithsonian Reveals New Curatorial Appointments

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art has announced Diana Jocelyn Greenwold as the inaugural Lunder Curator of American Art and Sol Jung as the inaugural Shirley Z. Johnson Assistant Curator of Japanese Art. Greenwold, who was named to her role in September 2021, holds a BA from Yale University and a doctorate in art history from the University of California, Berkeley. Specializing in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American fine and decorative arts, she was previously curator of American art at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine, where she stewarded that institution’s 11,000 American paintings, sculptures and works of decorative art. In her new capacity, she will oversee the National Museum of Asian Art’s collection of American art, which dates largely to the late nineteenth century and includes significant works by Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Abbott Thayer, and Dwight Tryon. She is also in charge of Washington, DC, museum’s renowned trove of works by James McNeill Whistler, including the famous Peacock Room.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art at such an exciting moment in the institution’s history,” Greenwold said. “I look forward to interpreting the iconic works in the collection in new ways to reach a wide array of visitors. Working with my colleagues, I hope to deepen the stories the museum can tell about America, Asia and the world.”

Jung, who was also named to her new post in September 2021, earned a BA with distinction in the history of art from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA in art and archaeology from Princeton University, where she successfully defended her dissertation last month. Focusing on Japanese art history and particularly interested in how transnational maritime trade affected Japan’s visual culture during the premodern period, Jung will oversee the museum’s 3,000-piece collection of pre-modern, modern and contemporary ceramics, lacquer ware and metalwork.

“I am grateful for the late Shirley Z. Johnson’s visionary gift, which supports the museum’s continued commitment to preserving and studying Japanese objects,” said Jung. “I am especially honored to continue Ms. Johnson’s initiative to promote research on modern, and contemporary Japanese metalwork. I look forward to working with my colleagues to expand our understanding of Japanese objects in relation to the greater context of Asian art

Museum director Chase F. Robinson expressed delight at Greenwold and Jung joining the institution, lauding each for her perspective and noting that both curators “will strengthen our voice at a time of great opportunity for the museum as we approach our centennial.”