SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY (November 14, 2016) — The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College today announced the appointment of Isolde Brielmaier as Curator-at-Large. With extensive experience as a curator, scholar, and writer in innovative contemporary art exhibitions and programming, Brielmaier will help develop new approaches for curating, commissioning, developing, and presenting the work of interdisciplinary artists and other cultural producers across platforms. As Curator-at-Large, she will work with the Tang’s team to plan and implement exhibitions and artist projects, produce inventive programs at the Tang and in New York City, expand interdisciplinary research and scholarship, advise the Museum on key acquisitions, and share her expertise with Skidmore faculty, staff, and students.
Brielmaier is currently Assistant Professor of Critical Studies in the Department of Photography, Imaging, and Emerging Media at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, and oversees the arts and cultural programming at Westfield World Trade Center. Her previous posts include serving as Chief Curator of the SCAD Museum of Art, as well as developing and managing programs at Prospect 3 New Orleans, the Bronx Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the New Museum. Based in New York City with regular visits to the Tang, Isolde joins the staff in early November 2016.
“Isolde brings with her a deep knowledge of the art world, a global awareness, and strong scholarship that will be invaluable as we continue to grow our collection and expand our focus to include a broad range of artists and types of programming,” said Ian Berry, Dayton Director of the Tang Museum. “We’re very excited to welcome Isolde to the Tang.”
“The Tang Museum is a leader in presenting experimental and ambitious exhibitions, and I’m excited about this opportunity to work with the Museum, and with the students, faculty, and staff at Skidmore College,” said Isolde Brielmaier. “The team at the Tang understands the role art can play in parsing out contemporary issues, and has a track record of opening conversations about these issues through a range of different programs. I am very much looking forward to building upon its great history of innovation and creativity.”
Among Brielmaier's duties will be to collaborate with Berry and the Tang Museum team on realizing critical aspects of the College’s $1.2-million Mellon Foundation initiative to strengthen the ways the Museum uses its collection to explore issues of identity and race, and to support interdisciplinary research in this area. The initiative aims to expand scholarship and access to works by contemporary artists of color in the Museum’s collection by enhancing the digital archive, bringing visiting artists and scholars to Skidmore, and forging educational partnerships with other colleges and universities.
Over half of the exhibitions at the Tang Museum have spotlighted traditionally underrepresented artists, including a recent survey of works by abstract painter Alma Thomas and an upcoming exhibition of work by artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby. The Museum’s diversity and collections initiative expands the Tang's commitment to bringing the work of diverse artists working in various media to the public, scholars, and the arts community, and serves to advance Skidmore’s liberal arts mission. The initiative will serve as a national model for fostering inclusion and critical discussions through the arts.
Scholar and curator Isolde Brielmaier is Assistant Professor of Critical Studies in the Department of Photography, Imaging, and Emerging Media at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She holds a Ph.D. in art history from Columbia University.
Brielmaier has taught previously at Vassar College and Columbia University/Barnard College and currently oversees the arts and cultural programming at Westfield World Trade Center. Brielmaier has also worked for the Guggenheim Museum, the New Museum, the Bronx Museum of Art, and as Chief Curator for the SCAD Museum of Art.
Brielmaier’s areas of scholarly interest include: global visual culture; race, gender, class studies; social media; technology; contemporary patronage and artistic practice; and the ongoing dynamic between art, artists, and the international art market, as well as the public and private sectors. Throughout her curatorial career, she has collaborated with noted contemporary artists including Ellen Gallagher, Carrie Mae Weems, Uta Barth, Leonardo Drew, Richard Mosse, Fred Wilson, and Bharti Kher, to name a few. Brielmaier has written extensively on contemporary art and culture, including numerous exhibition catalogue essays, journal articles, and reviews, as well as artist books including the first monographs on photographers Zwelethu Mthethwa (Aperture, 2010) and Hector Acebes (University of Washington Press, 2004). She has also developed contemporary art and culture initiatives for the Prospect New Orleans Biennial, the Armory Show/VOLTA NY, and ARCO Contemporary Art Fair in Madrid, Spain, as well as Richard Meier Architects, among many others.
She serves on several boards and is deeply committed to the promotion of arts education, global women’s issues, and criminal justice reform. In October 2015, Brielmaier was invited as a guest to the White House on the occasion of President Obama’s declaration of National Juvenile Justice Month. Among her distinctions, she has received fellowships from the Mellon and Ford foundations, as well as the Social Science Research Council (SSRC).
The Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College is a pioneer of interdisciplinary exploration and learning. A cultural anchor of New York’s Capital Region, the institution’s approach has become a model for university art museums across the country—with exhibition programs and series that bring together the visual and performing arts with fields of study such as history, chemistry, economics, and physics. The Tang has one of the most rigorous faculty-engagement initiatives in the nation, the Mellon Seminar, and robust publication and touring exhibition initiatives that extend the institution’s reach far beyond its walls. The Tang Teaching Museum’s building, designed by architect Antoine Predock, serves as a visual metaphor for the convergence of ideas and exchange the intuition catalyzes. The Museum celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2015. More information at skidmore.edu/tang.
Located in Saratoga Springs, NY, Skidmore is a coeducational liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,450 students from 45 states and 70 countries. The College grants the bachelor of arts and the bachelor of science degree, with majors in 42 academic disciplines and self-determined majors, as well as double majors and minors. Nearly 60 percent of Skidmore’s students spend a semester or a year off campus during their academic careers, and annually about 25 percent of the student body engages in research with a faculty member, including more than 80 in the Summer Student-Faculty Research Program. Skidmore was granted a charter for Phi Beta Kappa in 1970 and also recognizes academic achievement through election to a select list of other honor societies. The College prides itself on its creative approaches to academic and co-curricular life, and actively supports the belief that “Creative Thought Matters.” For more information, visit skidmore.edu.