||Photo: Dan Addison/U.Va. Public Affairs
Bruce Boucher, an architectural historian and museum curator, who has divided his career between education, scholarship and museum administration, became the director of the University of Virginia Art Museum on March 1, 2009. He was formerly the curator of European sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago, a position he held since 2002.
Boucher's career as an architectural historian, educator and museum curator spans more than 35 years. During his years at the Art Institute, he oversaw a staff of 10 and raised funds for acquisitions and exhibits. In addition, Boucher is an expert on the 16th-century Italian architect Andrea Palladio, whose work has had profound influence on the architecture of the Western world. Thomas Jefferson studied Palladio's work in preparation for his design of U.Va.'s Academical Village.
Boucher is the author of numerous books, among them "Andrea Palladio: The Architect in His Time," and he lectures widely on Palladio as well as Italian artists such as Donatello, Tintoretto and others, with a focus on the artists working in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. He was chief curator of the exhibition, "Earth and Fire: Italian Terracotta Sculpture from Donatello to Canova," which was shown at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2001-2002. He also co-authored the exhibition catalog.
Prior to joining the Art Institute, Boucher taught art history at University College London for 24 years. He also spent two years as visiting member of the Research Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, between 2000-2002. During his tenure at the Art Institute, Boucher taught at the University of Chicago, and he lectures regularly at institutions around the country and abroad.
This year he lectured in Vicenza, Italy, at a symposium marking the 500th anniversary of Palladio's birth. He has also spoken on Palladio's villas at New York's Institute of Classical Architecture and most recently at a symposium on Palladio at Notre Dame University.
Boucher earned his B.A., magna cum laude in Classics and English from Harvard University and a B.A., M.A., in English Language and Literature at Magdalen College, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Before entering Oxford, he traveled to Italy and fell in love with the art and architecture. This event led him to change his course of research. After Oxford he went on to earn a M.A. with distinction at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, and then a Ph.D. there with a thesis on the Venetian sculpture of the architect Jacopo Sansovino.
Boucher serves on numerous professional organizations and advisory committees. He has received various honors, including a fellowship at the prestigious Harvard Center for Renaissance Studies at the Villa I Tatti, the Alexander von Humbolt Fellowship, and the Salimbeni Prize for his monograph, "The Sculpture of Jacopo Sansovino." He also was a guest scholar at the J. Paul Getty Museum and served as guest curator on the research department of the Victoria and Albert Museum from 2000 to 2002.
Curator of Modern Art & Academic Curator
Associate Professor of Art History, McIntire Department of Art, University of Virginia
Matthew Affron has organized and co-organized numerous exhibitions at UVaM, including Matisse, Picasso, and Modern Art in Paris, 2009; With the Line of Daumier, 2009; Fernand Léger: Contrasts of Forms, 2007; and American Collage, 2004. Among his current projects is Joseph Cornell and Surrealism, an exhibition in collaboration with the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, 2013-14. Affron's publications deal with diverse aspects of modern art in the first half of the 20 century. He has taught at the University of Virginia since 1996. He earned his Ph.D. in art history at Yale University in 1995, and his B.A. in art history in 1985 at Brown University.
Curator of Exhibitions
Jennifer Farrell, whose scholarly research, writing, foundation and curatorial work focuses on modern and contemporary art, joined the University of Virginia Art Museum staff Aug. 15, 2011 as curator of exhibitions. She will be in charge of developing in-house exhibitions, working with outside curators to formulate future projects and advising on museum purchases, among other duties.
Farrell brings a depth of experience working with museums, galleries and foundations to further their exhibition, publication and outreach efforts.
Since 2010, she was director of The Nancy Graves Foundation in New York, an organization focused on giving grants to artists and to preserving and exhibiting the work of artist Nancy Graves. Prior to that, she was at the Yale University Art Gallery for three years, first as the Florence B. Selden Senior Curatorial Fellow and then assistant curator in the Department of Prints, Drawings and Photography.
“The museum is pleased to welcome Jennifer Farrell as our new curator of exhibition,” museum director Bruce Boucher said. “She comes to us with a distinguished record of scholarship and curatorial experience at the City University of New York, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Yale University Art Gallery.”
Farrell has lectured and written extensively about modern and contemporary art for numerous institutions, including Christie's, the Museum of Modern Art and the Morgan Library and Museum, and she was an adjunct instructor at Yale University, the American University in Paris, School of the Visual Arts in New York City, New York University, and other institutions.
“I am thrilled to join the U.Va. community and look forward to working with my colleagues at the museum and in the art departments and other units to create exhibitions and programs that resonate with the research interests of the university,” Farrell said.
In addition to exhibition and curatorial projects for such organizations as White Box gallery in New York, Farrell co-curated a Whitney Museum of American Art exhibit, Empire/State: Artists Engaging Globalization.
Farrell has authored and edited more than 13 articles and essays.
She developed, organized and contributed to a forthcoming book, Get There and Decide Promptly: The Richard Brown Baker Collection of Postwar Art, which received a National Endowment for the Arts Award. The book is a comprehensive and contextual history of works in the Baker Collection and Baker’s collection strategies. During his life, Baker, who died in 2002, collected the works of contemporary artists like Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Hans Hofmann, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Morris, Richard Tuttle, Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Robert Bechtle, Agnes Martin, Dorothea Rockburne and Christopher Wool.
“Her edition of the collection of Richard Brown Baker will be published in the next months and will underscore her credentials in the study of contemporary art of the past 50 years,” Boucher said. “We look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration with her.”
Farrell earned her bachelor’s in art history at Smith College and her Ph.D. in art history and a certificate in film studies from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She also studied Gothic and Renaissance art and 20th-century European political history at the L’Institut d’Art et Archéologie (L’Université de Paris IV) and L’Institut des Études Politiques.
Anna E. von Gehr
Director of Development for the U.Va. Art Museums
Anna E. von Gehr joined the University in August as the Director of Development for the U.Va. Art Museums. She will serve as the chief development officer for the University Art Museum and the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Museum.
Anna previously served as the Director of Development for the College at Washington and Lee University. In that role, she managed the campaign priorities for the more than 50 departments and programs housed in the College. Although she has experience in major gift fundraising at the University level, her passion and expertise clearly lies with museums.
Anna has worked as the Major Gifts and Planned Giving Manager at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond and as the Major Gifts and Planned Giving Coordinator at the Oakland Museum of California. She earned her masters in Museum Studies from San Francisco State University with an emphasis in Non-profit Management and Development.
Development work is a natural fit for Anna’s personality and interests. She is passionate about the arts and the role museums play in our world. She will be a strong advocate for the University’s museums.
Professor of Religious Studies and Adjunct Curator of African Art
Benjamin Ray earned a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Chicago. For the past thirty years, his teaching and research has focused on the indigenous religions of Sub-Saharan Africa as well as African forms of Christianity. He teaches courses on African Art and Religion, Yoruba Religion, and Death and the Afterlife. His publications include African Regions: Symbol, Ritual and Community, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 2000, and Myth, Ritual and Kingship in Buganda, from Oxford University Press.
Professor of Art and Adjunct Curator of Photography
William Wylie received his Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan. He has published four books of his photographs, Riverwalk (University Press of Colorado, 2000), Stillwater (Nazraeli Press, 2002), Carrara (Center for American Places, 2009), and Route 36 (Flood Editions, 2010) all concerned with landscape and place. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in photography in 2005 and a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship in 2011. His photographs and films have been shown both nationally and internationally and can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Yale University Art Museum, among others.