Columbia Museum of Art Appoints Dr. Will South as Chief Curator

The Columbia Museum of Art has announced the appointment of Dr. Will South as chief curator. He currently serves as the chief curator at the Dayton Art Institute in Ohio, which is an institution renowned for its art collection from throughout the world and for its extensive educational programming for diverse audiences. South is set to begin at the Columbia Museum of Art in mid-October.

“It is exciting to join the Columbia Museum of Art where innovation and outreach are welcome, but also where traditional scholarship is respected. I look forward to being part of the team that continues the great work the Museum is known for, and to helping shape the CMA’s future under Karen’s leadership,” South said.

South holds a PhD in art history from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York with a focus on American art and a doctoral minor in Italian Renaissance. As a graduate student, he was named the Henry Luce Fellow of American Art. He is widely published as a scholar, is a popular guest lecturer and has taught art history extensively at the college level. South has curated national traveling exhibitions in American Impressionism and American modern art in addition to organizing exhibitions from museums’ permanent collections. South is a contributor to the permanent collection handbook, to be published later this year, for the new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

South embraces technology and digital media and most recently, under his leadership at the Dayton Art Institute, the institution received an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant to make the facility Wi-Fi accessible and install QR technology throughout its permanent collection.

“I am delighted to welcome Will South to the Columbia Museum of Art, where his impressive talents will help the Museum grow and thrive in dynamic new ways. His extensive knowledge of American, European and contemporary art, along with his love of teaching, will deepen the Museum’s ability to provide new and exciting art programming to our community and to visitors,” executive director Karen Brosius, said.

Prior to his role at the Dayton Art Institute, South was the curator of collections at the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, which is known for its contemporary art exhibitions and collection.

South was recently accepted to the Getty Leadership Institute for museum professionals and is a member of the College Art Association and the Association of Historians of American Art. South’s wife, Sara, is a jewelry designer and textile artist, who is happy to be returning to live in the South.

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