Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Arts/Entertainment

April 3, 2014

Addison Gallery taps Philadelphia art curator as new director

Judith F. Dolkart not only has art in her blood, but in her name. And now she is readying to bring both to Addison Gallery of American Art on the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover.

Dolkart — the deputy director of art and archival collections for a Philadelphia foundation and alumnae of Phillips Academy’s sister institution — will succeed Brian Allen as Addison’s new director.

Phillips Academy Head of School John Palfrey announced Dolkart’s appointment last week. She will begin her new role in July.

“Judith is an accomplished curator and educator who believes deeply in visual literacy, cross-media learning and the power of art to engage, persuade and provide transformative experiences,” Palfrey said in a release.

“Her knowledge of art and art history combined with a commitment to making art accessible to audiences across all ages, experiences and backgrounds make her a superb choice for the Addison, a teaching museum committed to excellence in scholarship.”

Addison’s collection of American art, which numbers more than 17,000 objects, is considered one of the most important in the country. Its exhibitions and related events are always open free to the public, and its educational programming extends beyond campus to public schools in the region.

Dolkart comes to Andover from The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, which she joined in 2010 as chief curator before being promoted to deputy director and Gund Family chief curator in 2012. Established in 1922, The Barnes Foundation has a notable collection of post-Impressionist and early modern paintings, as well as extensive holdings of old master paintings, African sculpture, Native American ceramics, jewelry and textiles, American paintings and decorative arts, and antiquities.

She said she is excited to begin work in Andover.

“The Addison — with its important collections and exhibitions, talented staff and the wonderful Museum Learning Center — offers tremendous opportunities for creative curricular collaboration at Phillips Academy,” Dolkart said in the release. “To have this vital and rich resource at the heart of a secondary school offers an incredible opportunity to think innovatively about what and how we learn.”

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