Wellesley's Davis Museum Welcomes Five New Team Members

October 16, 2013

Eve Straussman-Pflanzer has been named the assistant director of curatorial affairs and senior curator of collections at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College.

“Eve brings to the Davis an expertise in Italian Renaissance and Baroque painting, sculpture and works on paper, along with a broader knowledge of European and American art up to the 19th century,” said Lisa Fischman, Ruth Gordon Shapiro ’37 Director of the Davis. “Her specialization in women artists and patrons and gender issues will be of particular interest to the Wellesley community. I am very enthusiastic about her abilities to support and strengthen the museum both strategically and substantively.”

Before coming to Wellesley, Straussman-Pflanzer was the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Associate Curator of European Painting and Sculpture before 1750 at The Art Institute of Chicago, where she curated the upcoming Fall 2013 exhibition Violence and Virtue: Artemisia Gentileschi’s “Judith Slaying Holofernes.” Straussman-Pflanzer recently spoke with the Wall Street Journal about that exhibition and the painter Artemisia Gentileschi. The painter, Straussman-Pflanzer told the journal, “was a woman artist in that period unlike any other.”

At the Davis, Straussman-Pflanzer will work with Fischman to oversee all curatorial matters and to define the vision and direction for the collections, curate exhibitions, edit publications, and create programs that draw on and/or expand the missions of the institution. 

In addition to Straussman-Pflanzer, the Davis Museum also recently welcomed Mellon New Media Curator and Lecturer Michael W. Maizels; Public and Interpretive Programs Specialist Liz Gardner; Linda Wyatt Gruber ’66 Curatorial Fellow in Photography Mazie McKenna Harris; and Media Installation and Production Specialist Sarina Khan-Reddy.

As an integral part of an exciting new initiative funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Maizels will be creating a series of interventions and exhibitions at the Davis and at unexpected sites around campus, as well as organizing a series of new media art seminars and guest talks, in addition to strategic collections assessment and acquisitions at the Davis, and teaching several upper level courses on new media art in the Wellesley Art Department.

Gardner comes to the Davis with a background in museum education forged through experience at the RISD Museum and the France Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College, and most directly from the Cincinnati Art Museum. Her research interests include using music as interpretation in art museum teaching and programming, multi-sensory teaching strategies, and issues of museum accessibility.

Harris holds a B.A. in art history from Trinity University and an M.A. in art history with a specialization in Modern Art from Boston University, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the history of photography at Brown University. During the 2009–2010 academic year, she coordinated Photography Beyond the Visual, a workshop and lecture series for Brown and RISD graduate studentsShe is currently finishing a dissertation that traces the impact of intellectual property laws on the development of photography in the United States. Her other research interests include portraiture, printmaking, and collaborative art practice.  

Kahn-Reddy brings to her position an unusual and most welcome combination of skills and expertise: She has B.S. and M.S. degrees in engineering, an M.F.A. from Tufts University/School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston with a concentration on video, installation, and digital photography, and comes to the Davis from 20 years of employment at Eastman Kodak in project management, design, engineering, and image science.

Wellesley’s Davis Museum is one of the oldest and most acclaimed academic fine arts museums in the United States. The Davis collections, including some 11,000 objects, span global history from antiquity to the present and include masterpieces from almost every continent.