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UC Berkeley Art Museum’s Chief Curator to Step Down

The University of California’s Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive has announced that chief curator and director of programs and collections Lucinda Barnes will retire on June 29. “The past fifteen years at BAMPFA have been extraordinary for me—professionally and personally—inspiring, exciting, and gratifying,” she said. “Above all, most important to me at BAMPFA has been the extraordinary degree of creative imagination and collegial collaboration across the institution.”

After joining the staff of the museum and film archive in 2001, Barnes worked as a senior curator until she was promoted to chief curator and director of programs and collections in 2004. She organized a range of exhibitions for the museum, including “Joan Jonas: the Shape, the Scent, the Feel of Things,” 2007; “Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection,” 2008; “Indeterminate Stillness: Looking at Whistler,” 2010; “Abstract Expressionisms,” 2012; and “Hofmann by Hofmann,” 2014.

Prior to coming to Berkeley, Barnes served as the executive director of the Boise Art Museum, a curator of collections at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and curator of modern and contemporary art at the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College. She has also worked at several other California institutions, including the Newport Harbor Art Museum (now the Orange County Museum of Art) and the University Art Museum at California State University, Long Beach. Barnes received her BA from New York University and an MA from Williams College. She earned her Ph.D. in art history at the University of Southern California.

Barnes will conclude her tenure at the institution by preparing a major exhibition of work by the painter Hans Hofmann. Titled “Creation in Form and Color: Hans Hofmann,” the exhibition of approximately forty paintings and works on paper will open at Germany’s Kunsthalle Bielefeld this fall and will travel to the Musee national d’histoire et d’art in Luxembourg in 2017.