Philbrook cements commitment to contemporary art with new hires and acquisitions

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Philbrook cements commitment to contemporary art with new hires and acquisitions
Kalyn Fay Barnoski, Assistant Curator of Native Art.



TULSA, OK.- Kate Green, Ph.D. recently joined Philbrook as Chief Curator & Nancy E. Meinig Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art and Kalyn Fay Barnoski (Cherokee Nation enrollee, Muscogee Creek Descent) was promoted to the role of Assistant Curator of Native Art, advancing the Museum’s commitment to Contemporary Art and to diversifying its renowned collection.

Kate Green previously directed Museum of Contemporary Art Tuscan and Marfa Contemporary, led curatorial affairs for Oklahoma Contemporary, served as Senior Curator at El Paso Museum of Art, and led curatorial and education for Artpace. She has curated projects with Andrea Bowers, William Cordova, and Autumn Knight, and led the 5th Transborder Biennial and La casa que nos inventamos: Contemporary Art from Guadalajara. Green is co-curator, with Isabel Casso, of Celia Álvarez-Muñoz: Breaking the Binding, the first museum retrospective for the artist (opening March 2023, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego). Green holds a Ph.D. in Modern & Contemporary Art from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.A. from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.

As Mellon Fellow for Native Art since 2021, Kalyn Fay Barnoski, has developed initiatives for Philbrook, stewarding culture and sharing stories about Native Art and perspectives. She is curating the forthcoming major trans-historical exhibition Trade, and developed Terrain Tones, a series of site-specific Philbrook garden soundscape experiences created by area musicians. Barnoski has previously worked with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Art Bridges, and the Momentary, and served as a Mellon Native American Fellow at the Peabody Essex Museum. Barnoski holds an M.F.A. from the University of Arkansas, an M.A. from the University of Tulsa, and a B.F.A. from Rogers State University.

“Our decision to unite the chief curator role with the Meinig curatorship for modern & contemporary art speaks to the crucial importance contemporary art holds in our curatorial program here,” says Rachel Keith, Deputy Director for Audience Engagement & Curatorial Affairs, with whom Green works closely. “We’re excited to be aligning strong leadership in support of acquisitions, exhibitions, and programs that resonate with 21st-century audiences through their cultural significance and diversity.”




Philbrook Museum of Art has significantly diversified its Modern and Contemporary holdings in recent years, beginning in 2017, with the purchase of a major new painting by Kehinde Wiley. In the years since, the Museum has collected works by important Black artists, including, over the last year, a sculptural “soundsuit” by Nick Cave and a new figurative tableau by Yinka Shonibare. Meanwhile, the Museum has reignited a longstanding commitment to works by contemporary Native artists, acquiring this year a large-scale mixed media composition by Emmi Whitehorse and an important early work by Kay WalkingStick.

“Leading curatorial efforts at Philbrook, and joining the vibrant creative community in Tulsa, feels like the right fit at the right time,” says Green. “I am thrilled to be working with the talented, committed Philbrook team and to be putting my background and experience to use in shaping an ever-more dynamic collection and exhibition program that speaks to local audiences and national concerns. I am particularly excited to focus on the collection, including doubling-down on our holdings of Modern and Contemporary Art, especially with respect to works by women and by Black, Native, and Latinx artists.”

Over the last several years, Philbrook Museum of Art has significantly diversified its extensive Modern and Contemporary holdings. The purchase of Kehinde Wiley’s enormous contemporary take on court portraiture in Equestrian Portrait of Philip IV, acquired the year it was painted, 2017, kicked off a new era of collecting for Philbrook. In the years since, Philbrook has collected works by historical Black American figures, including an American Impressionist landscape by William Edouard Scott and lithographs of intimate daily life from 1979 by printmaker and collage artist Romare Bearden. Philbrook has also added works in various media by some of the country’s most significant contemporary Black artists, including The Embrace, a photograph by Lyle Ashton Harris from 1993, and several key works made in 2021, including a sculptural “soundsuit” by Nick Cave, a monumental abstracted landscape by Lonnie Holley, an enormous collaged composition by Troy Mitchie, and work reflecting the complex Black history of Tulsa, including the assemblage Notes From Black Wall Street: Where Are The Stars by Crystal Z. Campbell and two large-scale collaged works by Skip Hill. A recent addition to the collection is a major new work by British/Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare—one of his series of new sculpture works that, through figure and textiles, explores the continued effects of colonialism, including on people and the earth. Meanwhile, the Museum has reignited a longstanding commitment to works by contemporary Native artists, recently with a startling large landscape painting by Tony Abyeta, Firestorm, 2021, six photographs by Cara Romero, and Cambrian Nursery, a 2018 mixed media composition by Emmi Whitehorse. One of the most significant additions to the collection this year is Grand Tetons, 1969, by Kay Walkingstick, an important early work by the artist never presented to the public before, expressing Native philosophies toward the American landscape through its embodiment of Mother Earth.

Dr. Kate Green previously served as Senior Curator at El Paso Museum of Art, where she developed the museum’s Border Initiative, stewarding gifts and acquisitions—including works by Beatriz Cortez, Virginia Jaramillo, Teresa Margolles, Leo Villareal, and a collection of prints by José Guadalupe Posada—and exhibitions and programming, including After Posada and the 5th Transborder Biennial as well as its two-day cross-border convening. Green directed Museum of Contemporary Art Tuscan and Marfa Contemporary, where she curated a performance project with Autumn Knight and an exhibition with William Cordova accompanied by a book (Dancing Foxes Press). Green led the curatorial department for Oklahoma Contemporary, where she produced La casa que nos inventamos: Contemporary Art from Guadalajara and its publication (Turner Publications), led curatorial and education for Artpace, and worked in curatorial at MoMA PS1 and education at Dia Art Foundation. Green holds a Ph.D. in Modern & Contemporary Art from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.A. from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, has taught art history at Trinity University and the University of Texas at Austin, and publishes regularly, including in widely read platforms such as Artforum.com and Frieze. Green is co-curator of Celia Álvarez-Muñoz: Breaking the Binding, the first museum retrospective for the artist, which opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in March 2023 and is accompanied by the artist’s first major museum monograph (Radius Publications).

Assistant Curator for Native Art Kalyn Fay Barnoski, also a visual artist and musician, approaches curation as a tool for stewarding culture and sharing stories about Native Art and perspectives. Since returning to her hometown of Tulsa in 2021 as Mellon Fellow for Native Art, Barnoski has developed several initiatives, including the forthcoming major trans-historical exhibition Trade, and Terrain Tones, a series of site-specific Philbrook garden soundscape experiences created by area musicians, including Chris Combs, Olivia McGraw, Matt Magerkurth, and Robbie Wing. Barnoski has previously worked with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Art Bridges, and the Momentary, all in Bentonville, AR, and served as a Mellon Native American Fellow at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. Barnoski holds an M.F.A. from the University of Arkansas, an M.A. from the University of Tulsa, and a B.F.A. from Rogers State University.










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