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Curator of African Art
A native of Belgium, Constantine (Costa) Petridis earned an MA in art history and archaeology and a PhD in art history from the University of Ghent, in Belgium.
He has been in charge of African art at the Cleveland Museum of Art since January 2002. Initially in a joint appointment with Case Western Reserve University, where he served as assistant professor in the Art History and Art Department, Petridis became the museum’s first full-time curator of African art in 2008.
In 2014 Petridis received a one-year Andrew W. Mellon Foundation fellowship as curator-at-large at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. From 2005 to 2008 Petridis served as consulting curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Canada, where he oversaw the installation of the renowned Frum Collection of African Art in the gallery’s Frank Gehry–designed expansion.
Aside from South of the Sahara: Selected Works of African Art (2003), a book featuring 42 key works from the museum’s collection, Petridis authored three exhibition catalogues for the Cleveland Museum of Art: Art and Power in the Central African Savanna (2008), The Art of Daily Life: Portable Objects from Southeast Africa (2011), and Fragments of the Invisible: The René and Odette Delenne Collection of Congo Sculpture (2013). He continues to write essays in edited collections, entries in exhibition catalogues, and articles in scholarly journals.
Before coming to Cleveland, Petridis coedited Face of the Spirits: Masks from the Zaire Basin (1993) and was the editor of and main contributor to Frans M. Olbrechts: In Search of Art in Africa (2001), both published in conjunction with exhibitions at the Ethnographic Museum in Antwerp, Belgium.
A corresponding member of the Belgian Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences since 2003, Petridis has also held fellowships from the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Belgian American Educational Foundation, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art.