Late last week in a press release, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) announced the appointment of Elizabeth Essner as its Windgate Foundation Associate Curator in the Department of Decorative Arts, Craft and Design.
Cindi Strauss, the Sara and Bill Morgan Curator, commented, “I am thrilled that Elizabeth Essner has joined the staff of the museum at this auspicious time in its history. With the first-ever galleries devoted to craft having opened in 2021 in the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building, and the opportunities there for interdisciplinary installations involving craft objects, Elizabeth’s expertise and compelling vision will enhance every aspect of our craft program – from exhibitions to acquisitions to scholarship.”
Ms. Essner holds BAs in American Studies and History from Boston University, as well as an MA in Design in Decorative Arts History from Bard Graduate Center, in New York. Prior to her role at the MFAH, she was an independent curator, researcher, and writer based in Brooklyn. Recently, she curated exhibitions at the Woodlands in Philadelphia, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn.
In the press release announcing her appointment, Ms. Essner shared, “As a field, craft has the unique potential to meet this cultural moment where so many artistic and cultural legacies have been hiding in plain sight. At the MFAH, this presents significant opportunities to continue to foster cross-disciplinary dialogue and illuminate histories that enrich our understanding of the present moment.”
Ms. Essner succeeds Anna Walker, who held this position for three years (and worked at the MFAH for a total of eight years), and recently left to take on the role of Executive Director at Lawndale.