Baltimore, MD—Eleanor Hughes, deputy director for Art & Program at the Walters Art Museum, is pleased to announce the appointment of three new curators: Lisa M. Anderson-Zhu as Associate Curator of Art of the Mediterranean, 5000 BCE–300 CE; Ellen Hoobler as the Walters’ first William B. Ziff, Jr., Associate Curator of Art of the Americas, 1200 BCE–1500 CE; and Christine Sciacca as Associate Curator of European Art, 300–1400 CE. They join a curatorial team led by Amy Landau, recently promoted to Director of Curatorial Affairs. The Walters will begin a search for a curator of East Asian art this spring.
“Activating the collections is a top priority in the Walters’ strategic plan, and the museum is advancing this commitment through new curatorial appointments that diversify the talents and expertise of our staff,” said Hughes.
“We are entering a new chapter at the Walters, one in which we are re-imagining the collections through new installations and deepening the commitment to research and scholarship,” said Landau. “I am excited and honored to work with Eleanor to create an environment for all the museum’s curators to thrive and contribute fresh art-historical perspectives on the Walter’s collections.”
Lisa M. Anderson-Zhu, associate curator of art of the Mediterranean, 5000 BCE–300 CE
Anderson-Zhu will oversee the Walters’ collection of more than 4,800 works of Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Near-Eastern art, one of the largest collections of ancient art in North America. Anderson-Zhu worked at the Harvard Art Museums from 2010 to 2015, first as a research assistant then as the Frederick Randolph Grace Assistant Curator of Ancient Art. At Harvard, she completed a catalogue of nearly 1,300 ancient and modern bronze and copper alloy objects, acted as project manager, general editor and the major contributor of entries and general text. While at Harvard, Lisa played an integral role in the reinstallation of the permanent collection galleries, and also assisted in smaller, temporary installations. Anderson-Zhu received a Ph.D. in Archaeology and the Ancient World from Brown University’s Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World and a bachelor of arts degree in Latin and Classical Civilizations from the University of Montana.
“It is no exaggeration to say that it’s a dream come true to work with objects as magnificent as those in the Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Near Eastern collections at the Walters,” said Anderson-Zhu. “I am delighted by the opportunity to be able to inspire the museum’s visitors with a greater appreciation for, and a deeper understanding of, ancient Mediterranean art."
Ellen Hoobler, William B. Ziff, Jr., associate curator of Art of the Americas, 1200 BCE–1500 CE
Hoobler will be responsible for the Walters’ collection of art of the ancient Americas. She comes to the Walters from Cornell College in Iowa, where she was an assistant professor of art history. A specialist in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, she has worked over the past few years with the University of Iowa Museum of Art to catalogue and research works from the ancient Andes and the Intermediate area as well. She is fluent in Spanish and has worked as a consultant, author and intern for a variety of museums in the past, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Musée d’Arts Africains, Océaniens, Amérindiens (MAAOA) in Marseille, France. Hoobler holds a Ph.D. in Art History and Archaeology from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from Wellesley College.
“Pre-Columbian art collecting at the Walters has a long institutional history, dating back to the beginning of the twentieth century,” said Ellen Hoobler. “I am excited to help create a program that will meet the need to understand, appreciate and disseminate the ancestral cultures of the region's growing Latino population through education, outreach and activities for scholarly and general audiences.”
Christine Sciacca, associate curator of European Art, 300–1400 CE
Sciacca will oversee the Walters’ collection of objects primarily from Europe and the Mediterranean basin, as well as related works from Russia and Ethiopia. She joins the Walters from the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California, where she was an assistant curator in the Manuscripts Department. Previously, she served as the Carol Bates Fellow at the Walters in the Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books. Her projects at the Walters included completing entries in the digital collections catalogue for German and Austrian manuscripts and curating an exhibition entitled Schatzkammer: A Treasury of German Manuscript Illumination. Most recently, she was the curator of the major international loan exhibition at the Getty, Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance: Painting and Illumination, 1300–1350.
Sciacca holds a Ph.D. in Art History from Columbia University and completed her undergraduate studies at Cornell University.
"I feel privileged to have the opportunity to work with one of the most outstanding collections of medieval art in the country,” said Sciacca. “I am excited to join the top-notch Walters team and to work again with the vibrant Baltimore community."
Anderson-Zhu, Hoobler and Sciacca begin their tenures in February and March 2017.
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 inspired by the museum’s collections.
Free admission to the Walters Art Museum is made possible through the combined generosity of individual members and donors, 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.