PAFA Announces the Appointment of Brooke Davis Anderson as its New Museum Director

  • Brooke Davis Anderson; Photo by Jay Potter

    Brooke Davis Anderson; Photo by Jay Potter

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) has announced the appointment of Brooke Davis Anderson as the Edna S. Tuttleman Director of the Museum. 

Anderson, who has more than 25 years of arts and cultural experience and most recently served as Executive Director of Prospect New Orleans, the international triennial of contemporary art, accepted the position after an extensive national search conducted by PAFA. She will begin her new role June 5.

"Brooke Davis Anderson is an inspiring, energetic, and collaborative leader who will maintain our focus on presenting aspects of American art that have not been fully explored. She is committed to organizing a vibrant contemporary art program and giving greater recognition to artists from diverse backgrounds," said David R. Brigham, PAFA President and CEO. "Brooke will also continue to build PAFA's outreach to the arts community, including student and alumni artists, and underserved audiences. I look forward to working in partnership with her as we continue to foster PAFA's position as a leader in American art and embrace the museum's contribution to our integrated educational mission."

In her role, Anderson will provide creative and administrative leadership in the conception, development, and implementation of the museum's artistic and public programs, including exhibitions, scholarship, community education, and collecting American art. She also will represent PAFA's interests to the public, embrace leadership roles in the arts and cultural community in Philadelphia and beyond, and work closely with the development team to secure resources to advance PAFA's mission.

"PAFA is deeply woven into the fabric of this country and its art, so I am thrilled to join the museum and am eager to work with David Brigham, the board and staff, the curators and faculty, and the many communities of Philadelphia," Anderson said. "PAFA is uniquely positioned to explore the ways in which artists illuminate the American experience and the inventive approaches they employ to tell our shared stories, past, present, and future. It is such a singular opportunity and I can't wait to get started!"

As the head of Prospect New Orleans, Anderson worked in partnership with the Board of Directors and with guest curators to build that triennial exhibition into a highly acclaimed international art event that connected to its local community. Anderson led all aspects of the organization, spearheaded a range of new initiatives, and oversaw efforts including fundraising, programs and audience outreach, community relationships, artist partnerships, and collaborative efforts.

From 2010 to 2012 she was Deputy Director of Curatorial Planning at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. At LACMA, she oversaw the Watts Towers Conservation and Community Collaboration projects, as well as the Curatorial Diversity Initiative to expand the diversity of museum professionals working in curatorial roles.

From 1999 to 2010, she was Founding Director and Curator of The Contemporary Center at the American Folk Art Museum in New York, where she curated more than 20 exhibitions, authored several books, and led the acquisition of the Henry Darger Study Center.

Before that, Anderson was Director of the Diggs Gallery, and Assistant Professor of Fine Arts, at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina; Adjunct Instructor at Columbia University and at City College of New York; Guest Curator at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid; and Acting Director, Assistant Director, and Gallery Assistant at the Francesca Anderson Gallery in Boston.

 

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