Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Appoints Margo Handwerker as Dean of Core Residency Program

by Jessica Fuentes May 26, 2024

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) and the Glassell School of Art have appointed Dr. Margo Handwerker as the Dean of the Core Residency Program, a newly developed position at the organization.

In this role, Ms. Handwerker will oversee the residency program, the Glassell School’s visiting artists program, and exhibition programming for the School’s three gallery spaces. Previously the residency program was led by the Associate Director of the Core Program, a position held by Mary Leclere, who recently departed the organization. Amidst this transition, the Glassell School paused applications for the 2024-2025 residency term. The application will resume for the 2025-2026 term.

A photograph of curator Margo Handwerker.

Margo Handwerker

Ms. Handwerker is an artist, curator, and arts administrator. She holds a PhD in Architectural History and Theory from Princeton University, an MA in Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BA in Art History from Indiana University in Bloomington. Since 2016 she has served as the Chief Curator and Director of the Texas State Galleries of Texas State University (TSU) in San Marcos. During her tenure, she led the exhibition and artistic programming of the galleries while collaborating with various university departments and local institutions. In the last few years, she programmed city-wide exhibitions of two area artists: Bill Hutson, who grew up in San Marcos’ historically African American Dunbar neighborhood, and Roberto Rios, a founding member of Con Safo, a San Antonio-based collective that helped shape the Chicano art movement in the late 1970s.

Prior to her work at TSU, Ms. Handwerker was a lecturer in Critical Studies, Architecture, and Urban Design at the University of California, Los Angeles (2011-2016). Earlier in her career, she held positions at the MFAH, such as curatorial assistant in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art and as a lecturer at the Glassell School. Additionally, since 2011, she has been a part of M12 Studio, a Colorado-based collective of artists and curators whose projects explore public space, rural cultures, and landscapes.

In a press release, Gary Tinterow, Director and Margaret Alkek Williams chair of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, commented, “Dr. Handwerker has distinguished herself over 20 years in an impactful range of educational and curatorial roles; her collaborative approach and innovative vision are poised to elevate the Core Residency program, enriching its artistic offerings and fostering dynamic cultural dialogue.”

Paul Coffey, Director of the Glassell School of Art, added, “Dr. Handwerker’s reputation for fostering collaboration extends far beyond her previous roles. With a proven track record of cultivating meaningful relationships with local, regional, and national organizations, she brings a wealth of connectivity to her new role… Her dedication to partnership promises to infuse innovation and inclusivity into every facet of our mission.”

Ms. Handwerker will begin her role as Dean of the Core Residency Program in mid-August 2024.

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Jack Eby May 26, 2024 - 13:52

Congratulations Margo. Glad you’re back at the MFA.
We worked together a few years back when I was chief designer, now retired.


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