The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) announced this week the addition of another new curator: Michelle Rich will join the institution as The Ellen and Harry S. Parker III Assistant Curator of the Arts of the Americas. Rich comes to the DMA from the San Antonio Museum of Art, where she is currently completing a Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellowship. Before that, Rich held the same fellowship at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Her position at the DMA will involve overseeing works by myriad cultures that have occupied the Americas, including those of the Maya, which is Rich’s specialty.
Over her career, Rich has been involved in numerous associations related to art and archaeology. She is the Assistant Director of the U.S.-Guatemalan El Perú-Waka’ Regional Archaeological Project, which has been excavating and researching the El Perú Maya site since 2003.
Rich said of her appointment:
“I am thrilled at the opportunity to collaborate with the amazing team here to foster dynamic experiences for visitors, as well as to conduct and present exciting, accessible scholarship featuring the Art of the Americas collection. In bringing my passion for the art of the Americas — and particularly the ancient Americas — to this museum and its significant collection, I hope to inspire a sense of cross-cultural appreciation and stewardship for indigenous art in our communities.”
The DMA’s director, Agustín Arteaga, remarked:
“Michelle Rich brings to the DMA extensive archaeological field experience and expertise in researching, conserving, and exhibiting important historical objects from across the Americas. We look forward to welcoming her to the Museum to work with the DMA’s significant collection of art of the Americas—bringing their stories to life for all of our visitors.”
The DMA’s appointment of Rich comes in the wake of numerous curatorial changes at the museum: earlier this summer, the DMA named Heather Ecker its first-ever Curator of Islamic and Medieval Art. Also earlier this year, the museum appointed a new Decorative Arts Senior Curator, Sarah Schleuning. And in November of 2017, Gavin Delahunty, the museum’s Curator of Contemporary Art, resigned over allegations of inappropriate behavior. Delahunty’s position has yet to be filled.
Contemporary with Arteaga’s announcement of Rich’s appointment, he also announced that Amir Tabei has been named the museum’s Director of Information Technology and Digital Media. Both Tabei and Rich will assume their roles in September.