Thursday December 20, 2018
Tags for: Seth D. Pevnick Appointed Curator of Greek and Roman Art
  • Press Release

Seth D. Pevnick Appointed Curator of Greek and Roman Art

exterior of the CMA building

Cleveland, OH (December 20, 2018)–The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) has announced the appointment of Seth D. Pevnick as Curator of Greek and Roman Art. The museum’s outstanding collection of art from classical antiquity is characterized by singular works of great quality, including many that are exceptional for their distinctive iconography, form, craftsmanship or cultural significance. Pevnick’s appointment follows an international search. He will assume his responsibilities at the CMA in March 2019. 

“Seth is an exceptional curator and an impressive scholar who understands the complexities of collecting antiquities in the 21st century, as well as the importance of our collection as a springboard for exhibitions and a wide range of programs for audiences of all ages. He is also deeply committed to education. Complementing his PhD in archaeology, Seth has an MA in education, which will serve him well in helping to make the classical world accessible and relevant to visitors. We very much look forward to having Seth as a colleague in Cleveland, and to experiencing the ways that he will encourage museum audiences to engage with the art of the ancient world,” said Director William M. Griswold.    

As Curator of Greek and Roman Art, Pevnick will oversee the care and development of the collection of art of the ancient Mediterranean, including the art of Egypt and the Ancient Near East. Working closely with the Director and Chief Curator, Pevnick will identify and recommend works of art to augment the collection. He will also oversee special exhibitions exploring all aspects of art from classical antiquity. 

Spanning nearly 4,000 years of human history (from c. 3200 BC to c. AD 500), the collections of ancient art at the CMA are held in high esteem both nationally and internationally. Although the museum’s holdings in this area are modest in number, many works are of unparalleled quality and importance. Together, the collections comprise more than 1,100 works, encompassing the arts of pre-Christian Europe, the Mediterranean basin, Egypt, and the empires of the Near East and the Levant. A wide range of types of works and media are represented, from small objects of personal adornment to monumental sculpture, representing many different cultures.

“I am honored and delighted to join the curatorial team of the Cleveland Museum of Art, one of the finest comprehensive art museums in this country, and home to a preeminent collection of ancient Western art. I look forward to getting to know both the collection and the cultural community of Northeast Ohio, and to drawing exciting new connections between antiquity and the present day. Each time that I have visited the Cleveland Museum of Art, I have left inspired by the high quality of exhibitions, collections, and publications, and I am eager now to share in this overall commitment to excellence,” said Pevnick.

Seth is currently the Chief Curator and Richard E. Perry Curator of Greek and Roman Art at the Tampa Museum of Art, where he has served since 2009. From July 2014 to April 2015, he served as Acting Director at the Tampa Museum of Art. Seth has curated numerous exhibitions including the major traveling exhibition Poseidon and the Sea: Myth, Cult, and Daily Life (2014–15); Echoes of Antiquity: Revisiting and Reimagining the Ancient World (2015); Animals in Ancient Art (2016); and Patricia Cronin, Aphrodite, and the Lure of Antiquity: Conversations with the Collection (2018). 

An active scholar and prolific writer, Pevnick has published widely. Several recent publications include “The Tampa Poseidon = The Shugborough Neptune,” in Collecting and Collectors: From Antiquity to Modernity (Selected Papers on Ancient Art and Architecture 4), 2018; “Riders and Victors: Competing on Horseback in Archaic and Classical Greek Art,” in The Horse in Ancient Greek Art, 2017; Red-figure Neck-amphorae with Twisted Handles in The Berlin Painter and His World: Athenian Vase-Painting in the Early Fifth Century B.C., 2017; and “Good Dog, Bad Dog: A Cup by the Triptolemos Painter and Aspects of Canine Behavior on Athenian Vases,” in Athenian Potters and Painters, vol. III, 2014. 

Pevnick has extensive archaeological fieldwork experience, having served as a consultant on digs in Pieria and Boeotia, Greece; as a trench supervisor and ceramic specialist for four summers at Lofkënd Tumulus, Albania; and as a fieldworker for three summers for the Agora Excavations in Athens, Greece. 

Prior to his employment at Tampa, from 2008–9 Pevnick was a Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Villa, where he co-curated The Chimaera of Arezzo, a collaborative exhibition with the Republic of Italy. Pevnick holds a PhD in Archaeology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a BA in Classical Archaeology from Dartmouth College. The recipient of numerous academic honors, including the John Williams White Fellowship at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (2006–7) and the Graduate Student Poster Award from the Archaeological Institute of America (2009), Pevnick most recently was awarded a Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome for 2019. He and his family will move to Cleveland this winter.

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