The Morgan Library & Museum announces new appointments
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, July 24, 2024

The Morgan Library & Museum announces new appointments
Sheelagh Bevan is promoted to Andrew W. Mellon Curator in the Department of Printed Books and Bindings.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Morgan Library & Museum announced three new appointments to its curatorial departments. Sheelagh Bevan is promoted to Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Printed Books and Bindings, Dr. Pınar Durgun joins the Morgan as Jeannette and Jonathan Rosen Associate Curator of Ancient Western Asian Seals and Tablets and Department Head of Ancient Western Asian Seals and Tablets, and Dale Stinchcomb is named Drue Heinz Curator of Literary and Historical Manuscripts.

Sheelagh Bevan is promoted to Andrew W. Mellon Curator in the Department of Printed Books and Bindings. Since joining the Morgan in 2010, she has focused on expanding and interpreting the museum’s nineteenth- and twentieth-century collections, with particular attention to the history of the illustrated book, the European avant-garde, and modernist literature. She has curated numerous exhibitions at the Morgan, the most recent of which include Blaise Cendrars: Poetry Is Everything (2023), Alfred Jarry: The Carnival of Being (2020), and Delirium: The Art of the Symbolist Book (2017). Bevan collaborated with Colm Tóibín and Philip Palmer to co-curate One Hundred Years of James Joyce’s “Ulysses” (2022). Bevan also oversees the annual Kenneth A. Lohf Poetry Reading and, for several years, organized the Collections Spotlight installations in J. Pierpont Morgan’s historic library.

In addition to the exhibition catalogue Alfred Jarry: The Carnival of Being (The Morgan Library & Museum, 2020), her writing has appeared in John Bidwell’s Graphic Passion: Matisse and the Book Arts (Penn State Univ. Press & The Morgan Library & Museum, 2015). She is also the author of The Sean and Mary Kelly Collection of James Joyce (The Morgan Library & Museum, 2022). Prior to her arrival at the Morgan, Bevan worked as an Assistant Librarian at the Museum of Modern Art Library. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania, respectively, and an M.S. from the Palmer School of Library and Information Science.

“I feel lucky to have come to the Morgan at a transformative moment, after the Renzo Piano expansion and restoration of the interior of J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library,” said Bevan. “The museum has never stopped evolving, of course, but the consistent excellence of my colleagues and the Morgan's mix of tradition and forward thinking (not to mention the spirit of Belle da Costa Greene) continue to inspire my work.”

Dr. Pınar Durgun will oversee the Morgan’s Ancient Western Asian Seals and Tablets Department, which contains one of the most distinguished collections of cylinder seals in the United States. The seals span a continuous artistic and chronological sequence of more than three thousand years, covering all significant styles of Mesopotamian engraving; the holdings are particularly strong in seals from the second millennium BC made outside southern Mesopotamia, as well as Middle Assyrian seals. Durgun is the third curator to hold this position, after Edith Porada and Sidney Babcock, both of whom made significant contributions to the study and exhibition of ancient western Asian art at the Morgan and beyond.

From 2021 to 2024, Durgun was Curator at the Vorderasiatisches Museum (Museum of the Ancient Near East), one of the three museums that make up the larger Pergamon Museum complex in Berlin. She is an art historically-trained archaeologist with a strong background in anthropology. Her research focuses on death and burial, image and identity making, and copies and copying in ancient western Asia. With over ten years of experience teaching and working in museums, Durgun is interested in how museums help us understand, protect, and engage with the past and how they can better serve our communities today. She has worked in art, archaeology, and anthropology museums in a variety of departments, ranging from visitor services to collections and archives. Durgun studied in Turkey and has a Ph.D. in Archaeology and the Ancient World from Brown University.

“The oldest stories in the Morgan’s collections are written on clay cuneiform tablets and carved onto the tiny surfaces of cylinder seals,” Durgun said. “I am excited to share these stories in collaboration with the dedicated staff here, as well as local artists, students, researchers, and community members who hold deep cultural and emotional ties to this remarkable collection.”

Dale Stinchcomb joined the Morgan as Drue Heinz Curator of Literary and Historical Manuscripts in February 2024. Prior to his Morgan appointment, he worked at Houghton Library beginning in 2011 as Assistant and then Associate Curator of the Harvard Theatre Collection, where he curated exhibitions on Shakespeare, dance notations, Black theater, Chicano protest posters, and the artwork of actor John Lithgow. He is the author of the photographic history Boston’s Theater District (Arcadia, 2021) and has given talks on Tennessee Williams and George Bernard Shaw. His curatorial interests extend beyond plays and performance to include the role of women in the history and development of typewriting, collections as data, and Latin American history. Stinchcomb holds an M.S. in Library and Information Science from Simmons University, as well as an M.T.S. in Religion and Literature from Harvard University.

“It is a privilege to be joining the exceptionally committed staff at the Morgan, where the literary and artistic worlds are so thoughtfully interwoven,” said Stinchcomb. “The Morgan’s collections are truly astounding, and I am delighted to contribute to an exhibitions program that I’ve long admired.”

“I am thrilled to welcome Pınar, Dale, and Sheelagh into these new curatorial positions,” said Colin B. Bailey, Katharine J. Rayner Director of the Morgan Library & Museum. “Our curatorial departments are central to every part of our work as an institution, from exhibitions to research to public programs. All three curators have a record of outstanding scholarship, and have demonstrated a firm commitment to exhibitions and programming that share their fresh perspectives and expertise with our various communities. I look forward to seeing how they help shape the collections and legacy of the Morgan.”

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