San Antonio Museum of Art Appoints Jessica Powers as Chief Curator; Announces Additional Promotions

by Jessica Fuentes October 12, 2023

The San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) has announced the promotion of Jessica Powers to the position of Chief Curator, as well as the curatorial promotions of Regina Palm and Lynley J. McAlpine.

A headshot of curator Jessica Powers.

Jessica Powers. Photo courtesy of the San Antonio Museum of Art.​​

Ms. Powers joined SAMA in 2006 as Associate Curator of Western Antiquities. In 2007 she was promoted to be the Gilbert M. Denma, Jr. Curator of Art of the Ancient Mediterranean World. Since 2021, she has served as Interim Chief Curator following the departure of Dr. William Keyse Rudolph. Recently, Ms. Powers organized Roman Landscapes: Visions of Nature and Myth from Rome and Pompeii, which was the first exhibition in the U.S. to present landscape scenes as a genre of ancient Roman art. Ms. Powers holds a PhD in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. 

In a press release, Emily Ballew Neff, PhD, The Kelso Director at SAMA, remarked, “Jessica has been an invaluable leader at SAMA, with a keen understanding of our collection and the vision to guide the Museum forward in our work to engage our community and contribute new scholarship to the field. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with her to develop SAMA’s next chapter.”

A headshot of curator Regina Palm.

Regina Palm. Photo courtesy of the San Antonio Museum of Art.​​

Additionally, Regina Palm, who has served as a Curatorial Fellow for American Art at SAMA since 2022, has been named the Marie and Hugh Halff Curator of American and European Art. During her time at SAMA, Ms. Palm co-curated Still Brewing Art, which explored the museum’s history and its relationship to the Golden Age of American brewing. She is also the presenting curator for American Made: Paintings and Sculpture from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection, which opens later this week. Prior to joining SAMA, Ms. Palm served as Curator of American Paintings at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, as Associate Curator of American Art at the San Diego Museum of Art, and held positions at the Kimbell Art Museum, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, and the Cincinnati Art Museum. Ms. Palm holds a PhD in the History of Art from the University of London, Birkbeck.

A headshot of curator Lynley J. McAlpine.

Lynley J. McAlpine. Photo courtesy of the San Antonio Museum of Art.​​

Lynley J. McAlpine, joined SAMA in 2017 as an Association of Art Museum Directors/Kress Foundation Fellow for Provenance Research and since then has held additional postdoctoral fellowships at the institution. She has been appointed to the newly created position of Associate Curator of Provenance Research. The development of this role illustrates SAMA’s commitment to deepening research on its collection and to ethical acquisition practices. 

Ms. Neff added, “Regina and Lynley have also made important contributions to SAMA in their roles as fellows, and I am excited to see how their considerable expertise and unique perspectives will be brought to bear on interpreting our expansive collection and building on our exhibitions program.”

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