The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in California (BAMPFA) has announced the appointment of three new senior curators. Margot Norton, currently Allen and Lola Goldring Senior Curator at New York’s New Museum, will assume the role of chief curator, while Victoria Sung of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and Anthony Graham of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego will come aboard as senior curators. All will arrive to their new posts in the spring.
The three were chosen following an international search led by executive director Julie Rodrigues Widholm. Since her appointment more than two years ago, Widholm has sought to reshape the museum’s programming, emphasizing modern and contemporary art by those from Black diasporic, global Asian, and Latino communities.
“It was truly a dream come true to secure our first-choice candidates for each of these three vitally important roles, which will collectively reinvigorate BAMPFA’s art program with a renewed commitment to community engagement, academic scholarship, and contemporary relevance,” said Widholm. “These appointments signal a new direction for BAMPFA as an institution that brings a socially engaged, twenty-first-century perspective to its global collections to reimagine a more inclusive art historical canon.”
Norton, who will arrive to BAMPFA May 1, spent twelve years at the New Museum, where she was hired as an assistant curator in 2011 before rising to her current position. Among the exhibitions she organized while at that institution are solo shows of work by artists including Carmen Argote, Diedrick Brackens, Pia Camil, Sarah Lucas, Lynn Hershman Leeson,Goshka Macuga, Chris Ofili, Pipilotti Rist, Mika Rottenberg, BárbaraWagner and Benjamin de Burca, and Kaari Upson. She is currently co-curating with Vivian Crockett a survey of the work of Wangechi Mutu, slated to open March 2 at the New Museum. Norton launched her career in 2008 as a curatorial associate at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
Sung will undertake her new role as Phyllis C. Wattis Senior Curator on March 1 after eight years at the Walker. She leaves that museum as associate curator of visual arts, having organized “Theaster Gates: Assembly Hall” in 2019 and “Siah Armajani: Follow This Line” the year before. Her last exhibition for the Walker, a retrospective of the work of contemporary Philippine American artist Pacita Abad opens there April 15. Prior to her arrival at the Walker, Sung worked at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney, all in New York.
Graham, who will assume his post at BAMPFA March 20, was at MCASD for seven years. As an associate curator there, he organized and co-organized solo shows of work by artists including Sadie Barnette, Griselda Rosas, and Nancy Lupo. Most recently, he curated 2022’s “Alexis Smith: The American Way,” the first major retrospective and publication of the artist’s work in thirty years. Before coming to MCASD, he held roles at Storefront for Art and Architecture, the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, and Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, all in New York.