Rebecca McNamara joined the Tang in November 2016 as the Mellon Collections Curator, a three-year position funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to promote access to and inclusion in and with the Tang’s collection. In her position, she curated Other Side: Art, Object, Self, an exhibition that features art from the Tang collection that explores the interconnections and elusive boundaries between concepts like life and death, seen and unseen, loss and hope, artifice and truth. She is also coediting with Dayton Director Ian Berry a new annual publication called Accelerate, which showcases the Mellon grant’s varied accomplishments and presents new scholarship on the Tang collection, as well as cataloging and researching collection artworks and helping to oversee a new video series featuring visiting artists and scholars and Skidmore faculty.
Prior to coming the Tang, she has previously held curatorial positions at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (funded by a Henry Luce Foundation grant), where she co-curated the exhibition Crazy Quilts: Stitching Memories, and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Her publications include the books Widows Unveiled: Fashionable Mourning in Late Victorian New York (2016), and A Token of Elegance: Cigarette Holders in Vogue (coauthored; 2015). She earned a Master’s of Arts in History of Decorative Arts and Design from Parsons/Cooper Hewitt, and bachelor’s degrees in Art History and Journalism from Boston University.