Indianapolis Museum of Art appoints Shelley Selim as curator of design & decorative arts

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Indianapolis Museum of Art appoints Shelley Selim as curator of design & decorative arts
Selim comes to the IMA from Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN.- The Indianapolis Museum of Art has appointed Shelley M. Selim as the associate curator of design & decorative arts. In this role, Selim will manage and grow the IMA’s significant collection of decorative arts and contemporary design objects, and provide curatorial oversight for the IMA’s two historic homes: Miller House and Garden in Columbus, Indiana, and the Lilly House on the IMA’s main campus.

The IMA has a significant collection of historic decorative art objects and contemporary design, including works on display at Lilly House and Miller House and Garden. Overall the collections consist of more than 12,000 objects spanning 500 years of human creativity. Included are exceptional examples of silver, ceramics, glass, and furniture.

Best known is the IMA’s design collection. In 2013, the IMA opened one of the largest displays of contemporary design in any general art museum in the world that features more than 250 objects by iconic designers in Europe, Asia and the United States.

“Design and decorative art have long been important to the IMA,” said Dr. Charles L. Venable, the IMA’s Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO. “Besides building a fine collection, we have contributed significant scholarship in the field in the form of both books and exhibitions. Among our most important achievements are The Arts & Crafts Metalwork of Janet Payne Bowles (1993); Masters of Contemporary Glass: Selections from the Glick Collection (1997); Gifts to the Tsars, 1500-1700: Treasures from the Kremlin (2001-2002); and European Design Since 1985: Shaping the New Century (2009). Last year we featured Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas and currently have the exhibition Tiffany, Gorham, and the Height of American Silver, 1840-1930 on view in the Lilly House. With her energy and expansive knowledge, I am confident that Shelley Selim will make an important contribution in design and decorative art at the IMA and I am delighted to have her as part of our dynamic team.”

Selim comes to the IMA from Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. In her role as the Jeanne and Ralph Graham Assistant Curator, Selim conceptualized, cultivated and implemented exhibitions addressing modern and contemporary art, architecture and design. During her time at the museum, Selim curated shows such as John Glick: A Legacy in Clay; Designing Summer: Objects of Escape; Bent, Cast & Forged: The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia; and Culture Breakers: The Living Structures of Ken Isaacs. Bent, Cast & Forged recently traveled to the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, where Selim previously worked. Selim received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Syracuse University and her master’s degree in the history of decorative arts and design from Parsons the New School for Design and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, where she specialized in Scandinavian design and 20th-century American Design.

“I have greatly admired the IMA's community outreach initiatives and dynamic curatorial programs of recent years, and I am thrilled and honored to come to the Museum at an exciting time in its history,” said Selim. “The IMA has a stellar collection of design, decorative arts and historic homes, and I look forward to leveraging these works as I join the staff in its already outstanding efforts to engage audiences in new, thoughtful and innovative ways. My own curatorial vision dovetails wonderfully with Charles Venable's progressive plans for the Museum's future, and I am delighted to join Charles, Preston Bautista and the rest of the IMA’s fantastic team during this lively period of growth.”

Selim will begin at the IMA on July 18.

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