Founded in 2007, CCL has organized ten classes of fellows to date, training 110 curators who serve museums across the world. Each year CCL selects ten to twelve applicants representing a wide range of geographic, institutional, and art historical backgrounds.
Fellows become a unique cohort who undergo professional and personal growth together throughout the CCL experience and beyond. Our graduates add critical value to the vision and strategy of museums worldwide and form a network that fosters growth and collaboration.
Chair, Art of Europe and Mrs. Russell W. Baker Curator of Paintings
Frederick Ilchman holds a BA in art history from Princeton and received his PhD from Columbia University, with a dissertation on Jacopo Tintoretto's early career. Supported by a Fulbright Fellowship and grants from the Metropolitan Museum and Save Venice Inc., he spent five years in Venice studying Venetian Renaissance painting.
Frederick came to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2001 as assistant curator of paintings, with responsibility for Italian medieval and Renaissance paintings. Soon after arrriving at the MFA, he was the Boston curator for Thomas Gainsborough, 1727-1788(2003). He helped plan the major exhibition on Jacopo Tintoretto at the Museo del Prado in the spring of 2007 and was a contributor to its catalogue. An essay on "Tintoretto as a Painter of Religious Narrative" from the Prado's catalogue won an award from the Association of Art Museum Curators.
Later he served as the lead curator forTitian, Tintoretto, Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance Venice(2009), an exhibition organized jointly with the Musée du Louvre. Recently, he co-curated Goya: Order and Disorder, the largest Goya exhibition in North America in a quarter century, for the MFA.
Frederick is a member of the board and the project director of Save Venice Inc., the largest private committee dedicated to preserving the cultural patrimony of Venice. He is now also the Chairman of the Boston Chapter of Save Venice. He was promoted to the Mrs. Russell W. Baker Curator of Paintings at the MFA in 2009, and became Chair, Art of Europe, in February 2014.
Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art and Curator of European Paintings and Sculpture
Chiyo Ishikawa works with Director Kimerly Rorschach to plan SAM’s artistic program, overseeing the Curatorial, Conservation, and Museum Services Division. Dr. Ishikawa joined SAM in 1990 after serving as an NEA curatorial intern in the Department of European Painting at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and in the Department of Paintings Conservation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where she was also a Theodore Rousseau Fellow. She has a Ph.D. in art history from Bryn Mawr College (1989). Her 2004 book on a work of art from the Spanish royal collection, The Retablo of Isabel la Católica by Juan de Flandes and Michel Sittow (Brepols), won the Eleanor Tufts Book Award from the American Society for Hispanic Art Historical Studies.
Among exhibitions Ishikawa has curated are Spain in the Age of Exploration 1492-1819; Renaissance Art in Focus: Neri di Bicci and Devotional Painting in Italy; and Leonardo Lives: The Codex Leicester and Leonardo da Vinci’s Legacy of Art and Science. She was local curator for Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris; Gauguin & Polynesia: An Elusive Paradise; Rembrandt, Van Dyck & Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, London; and The Gates of Paradise: Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Renaissance Masterpiece, among many other shows.
Ishikawa’s 2004 book on a work of art from the Spanish royal collection, The Retablo of Isabel la Católica by Juan de Flandes and Michel Sittow (Brepols), won the Eleanor Tufts Book Award from the American Society for Hispanic Art Historical Studies. She was awarded the Spanish Order of Isabel la Católica in 2004 for her work on Spain in the Age of Exploration 1492-1819. She participated in the Center for Curatorial Leadership program in 2010.
Ceil and Michael E. Pulitzer Curator in Charge Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas
Alisa LaGamma’swork has been instrumental in rethinking the history of sub-Saharan African art and culture. In 2012 the Bard Graduate Center recognized her work with the Iris Award for Outstanding Scholarship. LaGamma’s Heroic Africans: Legendary Leaders, Iconic Sculptures publication received the 2012 International Tribal Art Book Prize. In 2007 the Association of Art Museum Curators recognized the publication for her exhibition Eternal Ancestors: Art of the Central African Reliquary as among the profession’s outstanding exhibition catalogues. Her 2008 exhibition The Essential Art of African Textiles: Design Without End addressed historical continuities between classical forms of expression from sub-Saharan Africa and the work of leading contemporary artists from the region.
A 1988 graduate of the University of Virginia, LaGamma received her MA and PhD in art history from Columbia University. Her 1995 dissertation: “The Art of the Punu Mukudj Masquerade: Portrait of an Equatorial Society” was based on a year of fieldwork in southern Gabon. Born in the Congo, LaGamma has traveled widely in sub-Saharan Africa and lived in Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Nigeria, Togo, and South Africa. She has taught as a visiting professor in the art history departments at Columbia University, Rutgers, the University of Pennsylvania, and New York University’s Institute of Fine of Fine Arts and is a member of the editorial board of the journal African Arts. From 2009-10 she served as Chair of the Metropolitan’s Forum of Curators, Conservators, and Scientists.
Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs/Curator of Asian Art
Lisa Rotondo-McCord is currently the Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs/Curator of Asian Art and has served as NOMA’s Curator of Asian Art since 1994. Educated at Wesleyan University and Yale University, her graduate studies focused on twentieth-century Chinese painting. While at NOMA, she implemented thematic installations of the permanent collection of Asian art, and organized a number of traveling exhibitions including Heaven and Earth Seen Within (2000), An Enduring Vision (2002), and 5,000 Years of Chinese Art (2004). Similar forthcoming projects include The Sound of One Hand: Painting and Calligraphy by Zen Master Hakuin (2010) and The Elegant Image: Hindu, Buddhist and Jain Bronzes (2011), and the non-Asian exhibitions Living Color: Photographs by Judy Cooper (2008-10) and Beyond the Blues: Reflections on African America from the Amistad Research Center Collection (2010-12). Rotondo-McCord created the Hyogo-NOMA Art Therapy Initiative (2006-present), implemented cell phone tours at NOMA (2008-present), and continues to write and administer major grant initiatives.
Kristina Van Dyke was most recently director of Pulitzer Arts Foundation. Prior to joining the Pulitzer, she was curator for collections and research at the Menil Collection in Houston. She has organized exhibitions on historical and contemporary African art and commissioned projects on Pacific art and Byzantine art. Van Dyke received her M.A. in Art History from Williams in 1999 and her PhD from Harvard University in 2005 where she wrote her dissertation on the concept of objects in oral cultures in Mali.
Curator of European Paintings
Stephan Wolohojian is Curator of European Paintings at The Metropolitan Museum. He was previously Landon and Lavinia Clay Curator, and Head of the Department of Paintings, Sculpture and Decorative Arts, at Harvard Art Museum/ Fogg Museum. He received his Ph. D. in Fine Arts from Harvard University and then assumed a teaching position at the University of Delaware, where he taught courses on Renaissance art as well as on theory. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including a Rome Prize Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, and was recently a visiting Fellow at I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Renaissance Studies. He has a published and lectured on a wide range of topics and curated numerous exhibitions at the Fogg. He was organizing curator of “A Private Passion: 19th- Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection,” the catalogue for which was awarded the AAMC Book prize, among other awards, and was co-curator of “Degas at Harvard,” which was the most visited exhibition in the history of the Fogg Museum.
Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
Valerie Cassel Oliver is the senior curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Prior to her tenure at CAMH she was director of the Visiting Artist Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a program specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts.
In 2000, she was one of six curators selected to organize the Biennial for the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
At the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston she has organized numerous exhibitions including Splat Boom Pow! The Influence of Cartoons in Contemporary Art (2003); the acclaimed Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art Since 1970 (2005); Black Light/White Noise: Sound and Light in Contemporary Art (2007); Cinema Remixed and Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Imagewith Dr. Andrea Barnwell Brownlee (2009); Hand+Made: The Performative Impulse in Art and Craft and a major retrospective on Benjamin Patterson entitled, Born in the State of Flux/us (both 2010); as well as the survey, Donald Moffett: The Extravagant Vein (2011). In 2012, she mounted the project, Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, currently touring through 2015. In April of this year, she opened a major survey of drawings by Houston-based and internationally-recognized artist, Trenton Doyle Hancock entitled, Trenton Doyle Hancock: Skin and Bones–20 Years of Drawing. The exhibition is slated to travel to Akron, Ohio for presentation September 2014.
Cassel Oliver has lectured widely and published extensively. In 2007, she received a Getty Curatorial Research Fellowship for initial research for the exhibition on Benjamin Patterson and was a fellow at the Center for Curatorial Leadership in 2009. In 2011, she was awarded the prestigious David C. Driskell Award for her scholarly excellence and contribution to the field of African American art and culture. In 2012, her coorganized exhibition Cinema Remixed and Reloaded (CRR 2.0) earned the distinction of being the first exhibition project from the United States to be accepted as an official project of the Havana Biennale.
Chair of European Painting and Sculpture
Gloria Groom holds a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin and graduate certificate from the Ecole du Louvre. Her monographic Edouard Vuillard: Painter-Decorator, was published by Yale University Press in 1993. At the Art Institute of Chicago, she has been involved as curator and author in major loan exhibitions on Gauguin, Redon, Caillebotte, Renoir, Manet, Vuillard, Bonnard, Seurat, Toulouse-Lautrec, art dealer Ambroise Vollard and in 2012-13 Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity. Since 2009 she has been leading the project for the on-line collection catalogues (OSCI) of the Art Institute’s collection of paintings and works on paper for Monet and Renor (2014), Manet, Gauguin and Pissarro (2015). Current exhibition and book projects include Van Gogh’s Bedrooms (Chicago only) and Gauguin: Painter and Sculptor with the Musée d’Orsay. Dr. In 2005 Groom was conferred the award of Chevalier des arts et letters and Officier in 2013.
Douglas Dillon Chairman, Department of Asian Art
Maxwell K. Hearn is the Douglas Dillon Chairman of the Department of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He began working at the Metropolitan Museum in 1971, helping oversee the expansion of the Met’s collection of Chinese art as well as major additions to its exhibition spaces, including the Astor Chinese Garden Court, the Douglas Dillon Galleries, and the renovated and expanded galleries for Chinese painting and calligraphy. He has worked on more than 50 exhibitions and has authored or contributed to numerous catalogues, many of which have become essential resources for the study of Chinese Art including How to Read Chinese Paintings (2008) and Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China (2013). Mike, who received his undergraduate degree in art history from Yale University and his Ph.D. from Princeton, has also taught graduate and undergraduate seminars on Chinese painting at Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. He has traveled extensively in Asia including Cambodia in 2013 and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014.
Former Executive Director
Robin Held is a creative strategist, executive leader, and cultural entrepreneur.
Held has a demonstrated record of success, strategic change, and value creation in not-for-profit arts and media education, museums, and the private sector. At the core of her accomplishments - built into her DNA - is the joy of deep engagement with artists.
As curator of more than 100 exhibitions and performances, producing partner, advisor to funders, grant writer, and executive, she has worked directly with artists to realize ambitious work in a wide range of media, from traditional to experimental, including painting, sculpture, film, video, performance, sound art, robotics, artificial intelligence, and digital media. Most recently, she has become a consultant to a select number of artists and organizations, whose innovation, entrepreneurship, and potential positive impact on society are too big to fit easily or well in separable categories of art, science, or new technology. From this vantage she guides creators to new resources, expertise and investment.
Held has strong international networks and deep experience at the forefront of public institutions, working with artists, staff, faculty, trustees, students and community stakeholders. She has led focused teams, who together have successfully transformed organizational cultureand infrastructure.
Her past institutional positions include Executive Director of Reel Girls, which educates, mentors and equips young women to create transformative media; Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Collections, Frye Art Museum, Seattle, and Associate Curator at the Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington.
Held has published and lectured extensively on contemporary art and performance, and has established a reputation for creating innovative and compelling exhibitions of contemporary visual art, performance, film and new media. In 2013, she was honored with the Women's Funding Alliance Leah McCullough Legacy Leadership Award; in 2009 she was a Center for Curatorial Leadership Fellow, among other awards and recognitions.
Held earned a B.F.A., Painting, Sculpture, Graphic Arts, University of California at Los Angeles; Ph.D., ABD, in Art History, University of Washington; and a certificate of completion, Columbia University School of Business Executive Education Program.
Assistant Director/Chief Curator
Eik Kahng now serves as Assistant Director and Chief Curator at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. She moved to Santa Barbara shortly after her hugely enlightening stint at the Center of Curatorial Leadership as a member of the Class of 2009. While she continues to originate and travel scholarly exhibitions, such as Picasso and Braque: The Cubist Experiment, 1910-12 and most recently, Delacroix and the Matter of Finish, she is also deeply involved in the overall administration of her mid-sized institution. SBMA is in the late planning stages for a much needed renovation and Eik participates in weekly renovation meetings, dealing with everything from geothermal wells, architectural designs, and the city permitting process. Currently, she is facilitating a highly focused exhibition called The Paintings of Moholy-Nagy: The Shapes of Things to Come, guest curated by art historian, Joyce Tsai (UF, Gainesville) and oversees two support groups called The Dead Artists Society and D.A.S. ii. As often as possible, Kahng attempts to maintain contact with her CCL classmates on whom she continues to rely for guidance.
Kahng’s previous curatorial employment includes positions at the Kimbell Art Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Walters Art Museum. Her curatorial formation owes much to the invaluable year she spent at the National Gallery of Art under the mentorship of the late Philip Conisbee as one of the first CAA Professional Development fellows back in 1994-95, and her developing understanding of museum administration has been impelled by the training she received through the CCL. She works closely with SBMA director, Larry J. Feinberg, whose administrative example she strives to emulate. Kahng graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1985 and received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1996. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards and has published and lectured widely with a particular emphasis on 18th- and 19th-century French painting and its critical reception.
The Emily Hargroves Fisher '57 and Richard B. Fisher Curator and Assistant Director
Mary-Kay Lombino is The Emily Hargroves Fisher '57 and Richard B. Fisher Curator and Assistant Director of Strategic Planning at The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College where she oversees the contemporary art and photography collections, exhibitions, and publications. Prior to joining the staff at Vassar she served as Curator of Exhibitions at the University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach for six years and Assistant Curator at UCLA Hammer Museum for five years. Her exhibitions include The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation (2013), Utopian Mirage: Social Metaphors in Contemporary Photography and Film (2007); Off the Shelf: New Forms in Contemporary Artists’ Books (2006); Candida Höfer: The Architecture of Absence (2005); UnNaturally (2003), By Hand: Pattern Precision, and Repetition in Contemporary Drawing(2001). She has also organized solo shows for numerous artists including Marco Maggi, Eirik Johnson, Phil Collins, Ken Price, Euan Macdonald, Bob Knox, Alice Könitz, and Mungo Thomson.
Lombino’s 2013 publication The Polaroid Years (DelMonico Books/Prestel) recently won first place for Outstanding Catalogue from the Association of Art Museum Curators. In 2009, she was selected as one of ten fellows for the prestigious Center for Curatorial Leadership program, a six-month fellowship designed to train and support talented curators in realizing their potential for leadership in the field. Also in 2009 she was one of two recipients of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Curatorial Research Fellowship. In 2006 she was one of ten recipients of the Getty Curatorial Research Fellowship. Lombino received a B.A. in Art History from University of Richmond, Virginia in 1989 and an M.A. in Art History and Museum Studies from University of Southern California in 1995.