The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH) has announced Anita Bateman as its new Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.
Dr. Bateman has served in curatorial roles at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, the Williams College Museum of Art, and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. She has a B.A. from Williams College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke. Her previous curatorial work focused on contemporary African art and art of the African diaspora. She has written for various publications, including The Photographer’s Green Book, which is referred to on its website as “a resource hub for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy within the lens-based art community.”
In a press release regarding the new appointment, the MFAH’s director Gary Tinterow said, “Dr. Bateman’s groundbreaking work on East African photography; strong background with African-American art and artists; and teaching experience in the museum environment will all enhance the Museum’s efforts to further our longstanding commitment to the work of African American artists and artists of the African diaspora.”
Dr. Bateman will work alongside curator Alison de Lima Greene in a role that, according to Tinterow, “will encompass the Museum’s exhibitions, collections and programming in Modern and Contemporary Art.” In her new position, Dr. Bateman will maintain a special focus on the representation of African American artists in the museum’s collection.
Prior to her appointment at the MFAH, Dr. Bateman served as an independent curator. This past summer she was interviewed by Jennifer Mancuso for Art New England about her work. In that piece, Dr. Bateman is quoted as saying that “artists of color are more seen than ever, but they are still fighting for that social and economic power within the institution.”
In the interview, Dr. Bateman went on to say, “the majority of white led institutions have erased the experience of BIPOC, queer, and disabled communities.” According to the MFAH’s own statistics, 8% of the museum’s staff and 15% of its visitors are Black. For comparison, a 2015 Kinder Houston Area Survey found that 17% of Harris County residents are Black. This information is compiled on the museum’s website.
Dr. Bateman will be stepping into a position vacated by Kanitra Fletcher, who was named the National Gallery’s Associate Curator of African American and Afro-Diasporic Art in January.
Good morning to everyone, my name is Ryan Robinson. I must say I really appreciate the high lighting of Dr. Batemen & African/black artist. One of which I am. Born in Houston, Tx I began creating art over 10 years ago. I am still having issues getting my work in the hands of the appropriate curators. Feel free to scroll through my website listed below. I can’t wait to visit the museum again & eventually have my craft featured on Glass tire. Much love Double Lar.