Museum announces new curator for American art

By | November 12, 2014
M. Melissa Wolfe

M. Melissa Wolfe

M. Melissa Wolfe will join the Saint Louis Art Museum as curator and head of the Department of American Art. She assumes her duties in January.

“Melissa Wolfe is an impressive and prolific curator, having organized dozens of groundbreaking exhibitions, symposia, and publications over her career that speak to her creativity and intellectual rigor,” said Jason T. Busch, the Saint Louis Art Museum’s deputy director for curatorial affairs and museum programs. “Her vision will guide the comprehensive evaluation and reinstallation of the Museum’s American art galleries over the next two years.”

Wolfe currently is curator of American art at the Columbus Museum of Art, where she has worked for 14 years on a succession of important exhibitions, catalogues and collection development. Her projects George Bellows and the American Experience (2013), George Tooker: A Retrospective (2008) and In Monet’s Garden: The Lure of Giverny (2007) were awarded significant funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Henry Luce Foundation and Terra Foundation for American Art.

She also shepherded the noteworthy acquisition of the Philip J. and Suzanne Schiller Collection of American Social Commentary Art, 1930-1970, which includes 460 paintings and prints by noteworthy American artists such as Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Jared French, George Tooker and Joe Jones.

Wolfe received undergraduate degrees from Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., and a master’s degree and doctorate in the history of art at The Ohio State University, where she also served as adjunct professor. Prior to her work in Columbus, Wolfe was curator of collections at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio.

Wolfe’s appointment is the result of a national search the museum conducted to replace Andrew Walker, who left the position to become director of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas.