Curator of Contemporary Art Appointed
John W. Smith, Director of the RISD Museum, has announced the appointment of Dominic Molon as Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art, concluding a nationwide search. In his new role, Molon is responsible for the interpretation, development and care of the RISD Museum’s significant collection of contemporary art —- including paintings, sculpture, and new media —- with an emphasis on exhibitions, publications, community engagement, and acquisitions.
“I am thrilled to welcome Dominic Molon as the newest member of the RISD Museum’s exceptional curatorial team,” says Smith. “Over the course of his career, Dominic has earned a highly respected and admired reputation for his rigorous, wide-ranging curatorial point of view. I’m confident that his commitment to contemporary artists, collaboration, scholarship, and community engagement will build upon the Museum’s strengths and help move us forward in new and dynamic ways.”
Molon, who begins his position this September, says, “I am incredibly excited and honored to become the RISD Museum’s Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art. It offers a rare and unparalleled opportunity to present the art of today within a dynamic art historical context that stretches back to the ancients and impacts tomorrow’s practice through the Museum’s relationship with one of the most distinguished art schools in the world. The contemporary program at the RISD Museum has been one of the most visible and influential among encyclopedic museums, and has often influenced and informed my own curatorial practice.”
At the RISD Museum, Molon will be responsible for creating a distinctive exhibition program and developing accompanying publications, overseeing the installation of the permanent collection of contemporary art, strengthening the collection of contemporary art through gifts and purchases, and continuing and broadening the Museum’s participation in the international dialogue of contemporary art.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues at the Museum to create programs and presentations that link past, present, and future, but also to establishing a strong and active relationship with the artist community in Providence as well,” he says. “I am also eager to build on the extraordinary collection of postwar art that the Museum has acquired and to continue defining its character, composition, and presentation.”
Molon comes to the RISD Museum from the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAM), where he has served as chief curator since 2010. Molon’s recent exhibitions at CAM include Leslie Hewitt: Sudden Glare of the Sun, Jonathan Horowitz: Your Land/My Land: Election ’12, and Christodoulos Panayiotou: One Thousand and One Days. He is also a co-curator of two upcoming exhibitions: Place is the Space, an exhibition of site-specific architectural projects, and Martin Boyce, the first North American solo exhibition of the Turner Prize-winning British artist. Prior to joining CAM, Molon served as curator and acting curatorial department head for the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Chicago, where he worked in various curatorial and research positions since 1994. In addition to his work at CAM, Molon regularly contributes to several art publications, makes public presentations, lectures widely across the United States, and serves on international advisory committees. He received his master’s degree in art history and criticism from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and his bachelor’s degree in the history of art and architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Molon’s appointment fills the vacancy left in February by Judith Tannenbaum, the Museum’s first and longtime Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art. Tannenbaum continues her involvement with the Museum as an adjunct curator through 2014. Molon is the second new curator to join the RISD Museum this year; in January, Elizabeth A. Williams began her post as Curator of Decorative Arts and Design.