Amy Landau Named Director of Curatorial Affairs
Baltimore, MD— The Walters Art Museum today announced the promotion of Amy Landau, formerly Associate Curator of Islamic & South Asian Art, to Director of Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Islamic and South & Southeast Asian Art. In this position, she will lead a newly built team of seven full-time curators, fellows, and interns as well as the Walters’ team of registrars.
Landau has been a member of the Walters’ staff for seven years. In this dynamic new role, she will foster collaboration among a team of curators to reimagine the museum’s encyclopedic collections through new and updated installations; support work between curatorial and other departments to promote the latest scholarship in staff areas of expertise; guide the development of groundbreaking exhibitions; and lead the team in continuing to acquire works of art for the museum’s collections.
Currently, Landau oversees the Walters’ collections of Islamic and South Asian art, and supervises the Ancient Near East collection. She is responsible for approximately 2,500 objects, including 1,500 works of art in the Islamic collection.
“I am tremendously excited about the opportunity to work with Amy in this new capacity,” said Eleanor Hughes, deputy director for Art & Program at the Walters. “Amy is a rising star in a field that is of increasing importance in the world today. During her last seven years at the museum, Amy has shown extraordinary expertise and creativity in her thinking about the Walters’ collections through exhibitions and other collaborative projects. She has demonstrated initiative, flexibility, and most recently, leadership skills. These skills are crucial at a moment when we are hiring a suite of new curators and are moving toward a major reinstallation of the collections.”
Landau joins Amanda Kodeck, the Ruth R. Marder Director of Education and Public Programs, and Julie Lauffenburger, the Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director of Conservation and Technical Research, as part of the Walters’ Art & Program team. Together, they are responsible for collections care and research, developing and implementing installations and exhibitions, and creating programs that engage the museum’s diverse audiences.
With more than 10 years’ experience as a museum professional, Landau has honed skills as a curator and an educator in American and British institutions. While curator of Islamic and South Asian art, she has defined and implemented exhibitions and programming on Islamic and South Asian art that have engaged general and academic audiences. Her experience also includes cataloging Islamic and Armenian manuscripts in fulfillment of a National Endowment of Humanities Preservation and Access Grant and working on an online resource on the Islamic world for teachers, Integrating the Arts: Islam, funded by Qatar Foundation International. In support of another Preservation and Access Grant, she catalogued the museum’s collection of Armenian manuscripts and translated colophons with Theo Maarten van Lint.
Landau has curated a number of exhibitions at the Walters, including Poetry and Prayer: Islamic Manuscripts from the Walters (2010); The Art of the Writing Instrument from Paris to Persia (2011); Paradise Imagined: The Garden in the Islamic and Christian World (2012); Diadem and Dagger: Jewish Silversmiths of Yemen (2012/13); Threshold to the Sacred: The Ark Door of Cairo’s Ben Ezra Synagogue (2013), which traveled to Yeshiva University Museum, New York (2013/2014); Gérôme and His Circle: Travel, Art, and Business in the Middle East (2015–2016) (with Jo Briggs, Associate Curator of 18th- and 19th-Century Art); and Yemeni Heritage Week (2016).
Her most recent international loan exhibition, Pearls on a String: Artists, Patrons, and Poets at the Great Islamic Courts (Fall 2015), traveled to the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, in spring of 2016. It was awarded unprecedented funding support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Landau holds a doctorate in Islamic Art and Archaeology and a masters in Islamic Art and Archaeology, with distinction, from the University of Oxford. She has just been named a 2017 Center for Curatorial Leadership Fellow. The 10th -anniversary class is composed of pioneering curators whose professional backgrounds and curatorial vision demonstrate a commitment to collaboration, inclusivity, and scholarly excellence.
About the Walters Art Museum
The Walters Art Museum, located in downtown Baltimore’s historic Mount Vernon Cultural District at North Charles and Centre Streets, is free and open to the public. At the time of his death in 1931, museum founder Henry Walters left his entire collection of art to the city of Baltimore. Its collection includes ancient art, medieval art and manuscripts, decorative objects, Asian art, and Old Master and 19th-century paintings. The Museum Store offers distinctive gifts, jewelry, and books based on the museum’s collections.
Free admission to the Walters Art Museum is made possible by the combined generosity of individual members, friends and benefactors, foundations, corporations, and grants from the City of Baltimore, Maryland State Arts Council, Citizens of Baltimore County, and Howard County Government and Howard County Arts Council.