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USC Pacific Asia Museum Names Bethany Montagano Director

The USC Pacific Asia Museum (USC PAM) in Pasadena, California, has appointed cultural historian Bethany Montagano as its next director. Montagano comes to the institution from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where she served as senior curator for the past three years. During her tenure, she curated exhibitions such as “Pop for the People: Roy Lichtenstein in L.A.” (2016); “Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite” (2019); and, most recently, “Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich” (2019).

As director of USC PAM, Montagano will assume leadership of the only university-affiliated art museum dedicated to the arts and cultures of Asia and the Pacific Islands. After a seventeen-month closure for a seismic retrofit that will strengthen the building, the institution reopened in December 2017 with updated galleries and a new museum store, among other changes.

“Bethany brings to USC PAM an extraordinary expertise in cultural curation, as well as museum management,” interim director Selma Holo said in a statement. “She has done amazing work at the Skirball in bringing cross cultural exhibitions, something that is at the heart of USC PAM’s mission of intercultural understanding. Bethany is a seasoned museum professional, and a dynamic leading force in the museum field. We are thrilled to have her start.”