CLEVELAND (May 4, 2016) – Following an international search, the Cleveland Museum of Art has named Heather Lemonedes, the museum’s Curator of Drawings and Interim Co-Chief Curator, as Chief Curator. Lemonedes will assume her duties in May, as the museum prepares to celebrate its June centennial.
“Heather’s appointment marks the highly successful conclusion of an exhaustive search,” noted Director William M. Griswold. “Heather is an outstanding museum professional whose deft interim management of multiple departments and long-standing familiarity with our collections and constituents set her apart from numerous other excellent candidates. She is an outstanding scholar, a superb colleague, and a leader whose record of accomplishment here at the museum spans many years.”
“I am thrilled and honored to have been offered this position of responsibility at the Cleveland Museum of Art,” said Lemonedes. “Having completed a dazzling renovation and expansion project, we are now in the midst of celebrating our centennial, simultaneously relishing the museum’s history of collecting and connoisseurship, while looking ahead to a future filled with ever deeper connections to our communities, an even richer and more diverse program of exhibitions, and further great acquisitions to augment our singular collection. I very much look forward to working with the museum’s talented and professional staff, and to helping them realize their full potential.”
As Chief Curator at the CMA, Lemonedes will oversee the work of 16 curators. She will work closely with the director and curators to strengthen the museum’s celebrated permanent collection and expand its nationally recognized program of exhibitions. In addition, she will supervise the Conservation Department, Department of Collections Management, and the Library and Archives. She will work closely with the Director of Education and Academic Affairs, not only with regard to the interpretation of the museum’s collection, but also in connection with the institution’s long-standing joint program in art history with Case Western Reserve University, as well as the launch of the Keithley Institute, a partnership between the CMA and the University.
Lemonedes brings 20 years of museum experience to the position of Chief Curator. She joined the Department of Prints and Drawings at the CMA in 2002, and since 2010 she has been the museum’s Curator of Drawings. From late 2015, she has served as Interim Co-Chief Curator with Reto Thüring, Curator of Contemporary Art. At the CMA, she has curated numerous exhibitions from the permanent collection including Imagining the Garden; Themes and Variations: Musical Drawings and Prints; Treasures on Paper; and Mary Cassatt and the Feminine Ideal in 19th-Century Paris. She has also co-curated international loan exhibitions including Gauguin Paris 1889, jointly organized by the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, and Monet in Normandy, organized in partnership with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the North Carolina Museum of Art.
During her tenure at the museum, Lemonedes has acquired a wide range of drawings, including Italian, French, German, Netherlandish, and American sheets from the 16th through the 21st centuries. Her work on building the collection of British watercolors and drawings culminated in the exhibition and accompanying collection catalogue British Drawings from the Cleveland Museum of Art, which featured numerous recent acquisitions and promised gifts. Lemonedes has written widely on 19th-century art; most recently, she contributed to the exhibition catalogue Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse, published by The Royal Academy of Arts.
Lemonedes has taught at Case Western Reserve University on such topics as Impressionism to Symbolism and The Myth of the Artist: Paul Gauguin, and she has lectured widely. Prior to her career in Cleveland, Lemonedes worked in the Drawings and Prints Department at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, was a curatorial assistant at the National Academy Museum, and a specialist in the Print Department at Christie’s, New York.
Lemonedes holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from Vassar College, a master’s degree in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and a doctorate from the Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York, where she specialized in 19th-century European art.
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