The Harvard Art Museums announce the appointment of Lynette Roth as Daimler-Benz Associate Curator of the Busch-Reisinger Museum, effective January 3, 2011. A specialist in German art of the early 20th century, Roth’s highly disciplined and innovative work in the academy and in the museum has distinguished her early in her career.
“I am happy to welcome Lynette to our staff,” said Thomas W. Lentz, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums. “Her academic experience and her original work as a curator and writer make her perfectly suited to this position and to our teaching and research mission.”
In 2008, Roth curated a groundbreaking exhibition at the Museum Ludwig, in Cologne, Germany, titled Köln Progressiv 1920–33: Seiwert – Hoerle – Arntz, which focused on three core members of the artistic circle known as the Cologne Progressives. The exhibition then traveled in 2009 to the Art Gallery of Ontario, in Toronto, Canada, under the title Painting as a Weapon. The accompanying catalogue, edited and authored by Roth, appeared in both English and German and has been hailed as a definitive book on the subject. Roth also has taught at Johns Hopkins University, lectured widely in the United States and abroad on wide-ranging aspects of German art production, and published several articles and essays.
“I am thrilled to be joining the staff of the Harvard Art Museums at such an exciting moment in their transformation,” said Roth. “The Busch-Reisinger Museum has a unique and significant history, and its integral role in the American reception and understanding of art from German-speaking countries is essential to the Art Museums’ mission. I welcome the opportunity to oversee and continue to shape such an outstanding collection, and to work together with the staff and the Art Museums’ dedicated supporters towards our common goals.”
Roth received a PhD in the history of art from Johns Hopkins University in 2009 and a BA in interdisciplinary studies and German languages and literature from the University of Michigan in 1998. She was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Cologne (1999–2000), a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) fellow (2004–5), and a Dedalus Foundation fellow (2005–6). Currently the Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow in Modern Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum, Roth’s work there has focused on the museum’s collection of German modernism. Her efforts will culminate in the first comprehensive and scholarly catalogue (forthcoming in 2012) on the museum’s extensive Max Beckmann paintings collection.
The Busch-Reisinger Museum is the only museum in North America devoted to promoting exploration and critical understanding of the arts of the German-speaking countries of Central and Northern Europe in all media and from all periods. Founded in 1903 as the Germanic Museum, the museum originally contained only reproductions, notably plaster casts of major Germanic sculptural and architectural monuments that still constitute a valuable teaching resource. Renamed the Busch-Reisinger Museum in 1950 in honor of the St. Louis families who contributed decisively to its support, the museum now holds over 40,000 original works of art that range in date from the 7th century to the present. The museum has especially important holdings of late 19th-century paintings, art of the Austrian Secession, German expressionism, 1920s abstraction, and material related to the Bauhaus. In recent years, the Busch-Reisinger has focused on deepening its collection of postwar and contemporary art from German-speaking Europe. In addition, the museum has noteworthy collections of late medieval, Renaissance, and baroque sculpture; 16th-century paintings; and 18th-century porcelain.
The Harvard Art Museums, among the world’s leading art institutions, comprise three museums (Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler) and four research centers (Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, the Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art, the Harvard Art Museums Archives, and the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis). The Harvard Art Museums are distinguished by the range and depth of their collections, their groundbreaking exhibitions, and the original research of their staff. The collections include approximately 250,000 objects in all media, ranging in date from antiquity to the present and originating in Europe, North America, North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. Integral to Harvard University and the wider community, the art museums and research centers serve as resources for students, scholars, and other visitors. For more than a century they have been the nation’s premier training ground for museum professionals and are renowned for their seminal role in developing the discipline of art history in this country.
In June 2008 the building at 32 Quincy Street, formerly the home of the Fogg and Busch-Reisinger museums, closed for a major renovation. During this renovation, the Sackler Museum at 485 Broadway remains open and has been reinstalled with some of the finest works representing the collections of all three museums. When complete, the renovated historic building on Quincy Street will unite the three museums in a single state-of-the-art facility designed by architect Renzo Piano.