SALEM, MASS.- The Peabody Essex Museum
announced a series of curatorial promotions that are focused on teamwork, collaboration, and impact. Following the departure of PEMs Deputy Director and Chief Curator Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, who recently assumed a new role at the Royal Ontario Museum, PEM is restructuring its curatorial department to align with the evolving needs of the organization and to better serve the public. PEM is creating a curatorial leadership team, expanding the roles of five staff members with the following appointments: Petra Slinkard, The Nancy B. Putnam Curator of Fashion and Textiles, is now Director of Curatorial Affairs; Karina Corrigan, The H.A. Crosby Forbes Curator of Asian Export Art, is Associate Director Collections; Daniel Finamore, The Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History, is Associate Director Exhibitions; Trevor Smith, Curator of the Present Tense, is Associate Director Multisensory Experience; and Siddhartha Shah, Curator of Indian and South Asian Art, has been appointed Director of Education and Civic Engagement.
As the nations oldest continuously operating museum, PEM has remained vital for more than 220 years by continually adapting and evolving its practices to meet contemporary needs, says Brian Kennedy, PEMs Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Director and CEO. By sustaining curatorial excellence and embracing a broader practice of civic engagement and innovation, PEM is reaffirming its commitment to creative public engagement and to finding new ways to connect with our regional communities and the wider world.
Petra Slinkard, Director of Curatorial Affairs, The Nancy B. Putnam Curator of Fashion and Textiles
Slinkard joined PEM in 2018 as the Nancy B. Putnam Curator of Fashion and Textiles, following her role as Curator of Costume at the Chicago History Museum. At PEM, Slinkards focus has been to foster an innovative and inclusive spirit in the museums celebrated fashion initiative and to develop a vibrant array of exhibitions, installations and programs that celebrate the global impact of fashion. Slinkard oversees PEMs new Fashion and Design gallery and is the co-curator of PEMs headlining fall exhibition, Made It: The Women Who Revolutionized Fashion. In her expanded role as Director of Curatorial Affairs, Slinkard will oversee the integration of PEMs current exhibition research and curatorial team, developing new departmental priorities and the strategies to deliver them.
Slinkard is a graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising, a Bachelor of Arts in Art History with a concentration in Modern and Contemporary Art, and a Master of Science in Fashion/Textile History.
Karina H. Corrigan, Associate Director Collections, The H.A. Crosby Forbes Curator of Asian Export Art
Corrigan's interests center on the material culture of global connections and she lectures and publishes on many aspects of PEMs collection. As PEM's H.A. Crosby Forbes Curator of Asian Export Art, she oversees the largest, most comprehensive public collection of art made in China, Japan and South Asian for export to other cultures and has curated numerous exhibitions based on these collections. In her expanded role as Associate Director Collections, Corrigan will explore new ways to celebrate the museums rich and storied collection by spearheading new research, enhancing access through increased documentation, digitization and display, and providing guidance for acquisitions.
Corrigan received a B.A. in Art History and Medieval Renaissance Studies from Wellesley College, an M.S. in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture. Corrigan received a 2019 Award for Excellence from the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) for her work on PEMs Asian Export Art gallery.
Daniel Finamore, Associate Director Exhibitions, The Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History
Finamore has organized a wide range of exhibitions at PEM of American and European painting and decorative arts and in doing so has received grants from a diverse range of funders for his research projects, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Science Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts. He recently curated the installation of PEMs Maritime Art gallery and is co-curating the 2021 touring exhibition, In American Waters. In his expanded role as Associate Director Exhibitions, Finamore will identify and develop exhibition strategies that broaden our existing visitorship to include new and more diverse audiences.
Finamore holds a B.A, from Vassar College where he studied Anthropology and Art History, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Boston University where he studied Archaeology.
Trevor Smith, Associate Director Multisensory Experience, Curator of the Present Tense
Smith launched PEMs contemporary art program in 2010 and currently leads the museums Present Tense Initiative, which celebrates the central role that creative expression plays in shaping our world today. The Present Tense Initiative explores ways in which creativity and cultural change emerge at the intersections of cultures, disciplines or technologies. In his expanded role as Associate Director Multisensory Experience, Smith will align the museums curatorial activities with its neuroscience and visual literacy initiatives to create experiences that activate the senses and resonate with our communities.
Prior to joining PEM, Smith was Curator in Residence at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College and Curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City. Smith was previously based in Australia where he worked for the Biennale of Sydney, served as Director of the Canberra Contemporary Art Space and was Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Western Australia.
Siddhartha V. Shah, Director of Education and Civic Engagement, Curator of Indian and South Asian Art
Shah joined PEM in 2018 as the Curator of Indian and South Asian Art after a long career as an entrepreneurial art professional and independent curator. At PEM, Shah develops exhibitions that tell the stories of artists, communities and traditions of South Asia, as well as important moments in the history of the region. Opening this fall, Shahs curated installation of PEMs new South Asian Art Galleries will consider how colonial occupation shaped ideas and perceptions of India that persist even today, as well as shed new light on the museums renowned Chester and Davida Herwitz Collection of modern Indian art and what it reveals about nation-building and self-discovery. In his expanded role, Shah will create alignment and synergy between the museums education and curatorial departments while focusing on community engagement and impactful programming.
Shah earned his B.A. in art history from Johns Hopkins University, an M.A. in East-West Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, and a Ph.D. in art history from Columbia University. His academic and curatorial projects have been featured in publications ranging from India Today and The Times of India, to Psychology Today and The New Yorker.