Cleveland, OH (September 29, 2017)– The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) has announced the appointment of Emily Liebert as Associate Curator of Contemporary Art. Liebert will be tasked with further developing the museum’s contemporary art program with Reto Thüring, Chair of Modern, Contemporary, and Decorative Art, and Curator of Contemporary Art, including planning exhibitions at CMA and the Transformer Station as well as displays of the permanent collection in the museum’s contemporary art galleries, and acquiring works of contemporary art for the collection. Liebert will assume her responsibilities at the CMA in late November.
“I am thrilled that Emily is joining the museum at such a dynamic moment for our contemporary art program, particularly with such upcoming exhibitions as Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors and the Front Festival. Emily is a terrific curator with a creative approach to making contemporary art accessible to a very broad audience. We very much look forward to having her as a colleague in Cleveland,” said Director William M. Griswold.
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, and installation works. Highlights include important figurative paintings by Alice Neel, Anselm Kiefer, Romare Bearden, Philip Guston, and Andy Warhol, and abstract works by Mark Rothko, Ellsworth Kelly, Frank Stella, Agnes Martin, Sol LeWitt, Jack Whitten, and Gerhard Richter. Sculpture is also featured, with works by Louise Bourgeois, Christo, Richard Serra, Martin Puryear, Robert Gober, Liza Lou, and Monika Sosnowska, as well as mixed-media works by Tony Oursler, Geoffrey Farmer, Martin Creed, and Omer Fast, among others. Period-specific strengths involve American Pop Art as well as American, British and German painting of the 1980s. The museum regularly exhibits works by leading contemporary artists, most recently with major exhibitions devoted to the work of Kara Walker and Albert Oehlen, and with an upcoming show on Jae and Wadsworth Jarrell.
“I am honored to join the Cleveland Museum of Art,” said Liebert. “I admire the CMA’s commitment to presenting innovative contemporary art in the context of its exceptional encyclopedic holdings and very much look forward to helping shape a contemporary program that resonates with collections spanning history and geography. I’m also excited to collaborate with colleagues across departments to expand the global scope of the CMA’s contemporary collection. The emphasis placed on teaching, scholarship, and publications at the CMA aligns with my own background, and I will greatly enjoy supporting these priorities. Everyone I meet from Cleveland tells me how important the CMA has been to them—I’m eager to get to know the city’s many communities and to think creatively about how the CMA’s contemporary presentations can be most meaningful and welcoming to them.”
Since 2013, Liebert has served as a Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. She was part of the curatorial team for Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends, organized by Leah Dickerman at MoMA. This major retrospective was co-organized with the Tate Modern, and will travel to SFMOMA. Liebert was a contributor to the exhibition’s catalogue and helped organize a series of programs emphasizing Rauschenberg’s involvement with dance, music, and poetry.
Prior to joining MoMA, Liebert curated Multiple Occupancy: Eleanor Antin’s “Selves,” which opened at Columbia University’s Wallach Art Gallery and traveled to the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. This exhibition was a finalist for an award by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) in the category “Best Monographic Museum Show in New York.”
Liebert was previously Coordinator for Education and Public Affairs at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas (2003–5), and a Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art (2008–11). She holds a BA from Yale University (2001) and a PhD from Columbia University (2013) and participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2009–10.
Liebert’s publications include “‘Looking also had to happen in time’: The Printed Trace,” in Robert Rauschenberg, edited by Leah Dickerman and Achim Borchardt-Hume (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2016); “Eleanor Antin and My Barbarian,” in Performa 13, edited by RoseLee Goldberg and Kathleen Madden (New York: Gregory R. Miller, 2015); and Multiple Occupancy: Eleanor Antin’s “Selves” (New York: Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, 2013). She has contributed articles to Artforum and Frieze.
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