PHILADELPHIA — Lynn Marsden-Atlass, senior curator of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, has been named director of the Arthur Ross Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania, effective March 3.
“This is a great day for Penn’s arts and culture community,” Penn Provost Ron Daniels said. “We are indeed fortunate to welcome to Penn a nationally known curator and educator with Lynn’s remarkable range of experience.”
Marsden-Atlass’ curatorial background includes landmark PAFA exhibitions such as “In Private Hands: 200 Years of American Painting,” which offered a once-in-a-lifetime look at 100 paintings from 55 private national collectors. The exhibit included major works of art that had never before been seen in public.
She also oversaw “Thomas Eakins and His Legacy,” organized in March 2007 around the historic purchase of Eakins’ “The Gross Clinic” by PAFA and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Marsden-Atlass has also showcased such artists as Cecelia Beaux, Charles Demuth, Daniel Garber, Alex Katz and Robert Motherwell.
“I am honored and excited to join such a distinguished University,” Marsden-Atlass said. “I look forward to sharing my experience as an educator and a curator and to collaborating with Penn faculty, the Friends of the Gallery and the greater Philadelphia community to continue the Arthur Ross Gallery’s prestigious legacy and its commitment to multicultural exhibitions.”
Before joining PAFA in 2003, Marsden-Atlass was curator of American and contemporary art at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Va., from 1999 to 2003 and associate director and registrar of the Colby College Museum of Art from 1989 to 1999. She also has extensive experience as a consultant and advisor for private art collections around the country.
As director of the Consortium of Colleges Abroad in Paris from 1980 to 1988, she taught courses in art history from the 18th century to the present and led a wide range of public lectures and hands-on museum classes.
Marsden-Atlass received her M.A. in art history from the University of Chicago and her B.A. in art history from Lake Forest College.
“I am extremely grateful to Associate Provost Vince Price and the committee he chaired, which attracted so many outstanding candidates from across the country,” Daniels said. “We are also indebted to Dejay Duckett for her invaluable service as the Gallery’s acting director and her critical ongoing role as its associate director.”