Friday October 18, 2019
Tags for: The Cleveland Museum of Art Appoints Nadiah Rivera Fellah Associate Curator of Contemporary Art
  • Press Release

The Cleveland Museum of Art Appoints Nadiah Rivera Fellah Associate Curator of Contemporary Art

exterior of the CMA building


Cleveland, OH (Oct 18, 2019) — The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) announces the appointment of Nadiah Rivera Fellah as associate curator of contemporary art. She will help further develop the museum’s contemporary art program with Emily Liebert, curator of contemporary art; help plan exhibitions at the CMA, Transformer Station, and displays in the museum’s contemporary art galleries; and help acquire works of contemporary art for the permanent collection. Fellah assumes her responsibilities at the CMA in early November.  

“I am thrilled that Nadiah is joining the museum at this time. Her expertise in Latin American and global contemporary art will be an asset to the museum as we continue to grow our contemporary program,” said Director William M. Griswold. “Nadiah combines her talent as a curator with a deep commitment to making contemporary art accessible to a wide range of audiences. We very much look forward to having her as a colleague in Cleveland.”     

Established in 1960, the museum’s contemporary art collection comprises works of art created between 1961 and the present. The collection encompasses painting, sculpture, works in time-based media, performance, and installation works. The collection includes paintings by pioneering artists from the 1960s, including Ellsworth Kelly’s Red Blue (1962), Agnes Martin’s The City (1966), Mark Rothko’s No. 2 (Red Maroons) (1962), and Andy Warhol’s monumental Marilyn x 100 (1962), as well as sculptures by Lee Bontecou, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, and Richard Serra. It also includes strong holdings of artworks from the 1970s through the 1990s by artists Emma Amos, Louise Bourgeois, Robert Colescott, Robert Gober, Jenny Holzer, Wadsworth Jarrell, Anselm Kiefer, Alice Neel, Jack Whitten, and others. Art from the 21st century is represented by recent acquisitions of key works by Rachel Harrison, Simone Leigh, Albert Oehlen, Gabriel Orozco, Damián Ortega, Kara Walker, and Anicka Yi.  

“I am looking forward to cultivating new and progressive contemporary programming at the world-class Cleveland Museum of Art. I am delighted to be working with Emily Liebert and a fantastic team of colleagues. I’ve long been committed to fostering diversity in both museum collections and communities; I look forward to contributing to such initiatives in Cleveland,” Fellah said.  

Since 2015, Fellah has served in various capacities at the Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey. Most recently at Newark, she curated the celebrated exhibition Wendy Red Star: A Scratch on the Earth, and served as the primary author and editor for the accompanying catalogue. Fellah was tasked at the Newark Museum with integrating several Latin American works into the American galleries prior to the wing’s expansion. In 2014, she curated Left Coast: California Political Art at the James Gallery at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York. The exhibition, which included three new commissions, explored the ways that art in California since the 1980s has reflected contemporaneous political struggles. Prior to these projects, Fellah held curatorial positions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College.  

Earlier this year, Fellah received her doctorate from the CUNY Graduate Center. Her dissertation focused on the role of photography in capturing stories of migration in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. An Oberlin College alumna, joining the CMA staff marks a homecoming for Fellah. 

Fellah’s publications include Wendy Red Star: A Scratch on the Earth (Newark, NJ: Newark Museum, 2019); “Mining ‘The Maniacs,’” in Wendy Red Star: The Maniacs (Las Cruces, NM: New Mexico University Gallery, 2018); Modern Heroics: 75 Years of African American Expressionism at the Newark Museum (Newark, NJ: Newark Museum, 2016), among others.  

Fellah moves to Cleveland with her family this fall and assumes her responsibilities at the Cleveland Museum of Art in early November.  

Contact the Museum's Media Relations Team:
(216) 707-2261