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UCSB Names New Director of University Art Museum

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 - 17:00
Santa Barbara, CA

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Kathryn Kanjo, Director of UCSB’s University Art Museum

The University of California, Santa Barbara has named a highly regarded arts administrator and dynamic educator with extensive curatorial experience to serve as director of the University Art Museum.

Kathryn Kanjo has been, since 2000, executive director of Artpace San Antonio.

Described as a "laboratory for the creation and advancement of international contemporary art," Artpace is a contemporary arts exhibition and educational foundation that invites visiting artists and curators for residencies and produces original exhibits and installations.

Under Kanjo's leadership, Artpace has experienced unprecedented growth, emphasizing community outreach and greater exposure for the artwork.

The University Art Museum at UCSB is considered a national leader among university art museums, with an ambitious program of exhibitions, publications, and educational activities.

"The University Art Museum is known for its innovative and culturally diverse exhibitions, catalogues, and interdisciplinary programs," said David Marshall, UCSB dean of humanities and fine arts.

"Kathryn Kanjo has the ideal experience, professional expertise, and vision to build on this foundation and lead the museum to develop new strengths and creative collaborations."

Prior to joining Artpace, Kanjo was curator of contemporary art at the Portland Art Museum.

Earlier in her career, she was associate curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego and manager of the Whitney Museum of American Art at the Equitable Center in New York City. The author of numerous publications, she received a B.A. in history and English literature from the University of Redlands and an M.A. in art history and museum studies from the University of Southern California.

"The University Art Museum is rich in potential, and I am eager to connect with the intellectual vitality of UCSB, from its faculty and staff to its students and alumni," said Kanjo, who will begin her new duties at UCSB in September.

"The campus resources are tremendous and will help fuel innovative programming that will link the university to the local community and the broader art world."

The University Art Museum's distinguished permanent collections include more than 8,500 works of art and 750,000 architectural drawings and related materials.

It is accredited by the American Association of Museums.

About the University Art Museum and Its Collections

On permanent view is the Sedgwick Collection of Old Master paintings, which includes 20 works dating from the 15th-17th centuries. Also on permanent display are selections from the Morgenroth Collection of Renaissance medals and plaquettes, 420 items of German and Italian manufacture that are internationally renowned. Examples from both Collections are permanently exhibited together in a newly renovated gallery.

Shown in the galleries on a rotating basis are selections from other distinguished historical collections, enhancing the Museum's role in teaching and research. Among its strengths is a collection of 16th-18th century drawings and prints, especially a group of 43 fine Italian Old Master drawings. It also has representative examples of Greek terra-cottas and painted vessels, African sculpture, Pre-Columbian ceramics, and Native Californian baskets.

A major collections emphasis is 20th-century art in all media, with a special focus on graphic art, including drawings, prints and photography (e.g., Jean Arp, Sol LeWitt, Brice Marden, Richard Diebenkorn, David Hockney, Arnulf Rainer, John Coplans, Minor White, Chuck Close, and Terry Winters). We have acquired the Trevey Collection of 128 early 20th-century American Realist prints (e.g., Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, Isabel Bishop). A significant gift in 1984, the Ruth Schaffner Collection, includes 101 items of international post-war art, with examples by such artists as Clement Meadmore, Ed Moses, Allan McCollum, John McCracken and Robert Therrien. Another distinctive holding is a group of over 300 paintings and drawings from the estate of the early 20th-century landscape artist, Fernand Lungren (who retired to Santa Barbara). Examples of 20th century art are also shown regularly in the permanent galleries.

The Architectural Drawing Collection is among the most comprehensive of its kind in the country. Its distinctive status is due to it being both a collection of original drawings and an unsurpassed regional archive of supporting architectural documentation (specifications, letters, notes, photographs, models and architect-designed furniture). The collection pertains primarily to architects and designers who have practiced in California. Large groups of drawings and archival materials have been obtained from such internationally known architects as Irving J. Gill, R. M. Schindler, Richard Neutra, Gregory Ain, Kem Weber, Cliff May, Robert Stacy-Judd, and others. In addition to major exhibitions organized around the work of many of these architects, drawings from this archive have been shown on a rotating basis.

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