SHELBURNE, Vt. (January 19, 2023) Shelburne Museum has established a new curatorship in Native American Art, and appointed the first curator to hold the position, announced Thomas Denenberg, John Wilmerding Director of Shelburne Museum.
Victoria Sunnergren is the museum’s first Associate Curator of Native American Art, a post funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. In her new position, Sunnergren will lead the interpretation and exhibition of the museum’s collection of Indigenous art and material culture and organize an exhibition highlighting The Perry Collection of Native American masterworks. Sunnergren will guide the museum’s program in collaboration with an advisory board of Indigenous artists, curators, and community leaders.
“This curatorship is an essential part of Shelburne’s goal to become a center of gravity for the study and exploration of Indigenous art and material culture in the region, broadening audiences, redefining American Art, and cultivating new relationships and greater understanding across cultures,” Denenberg said.
Sunnergren’s first project, this summer’s exhibition Built from the Earth: Pueblo Pottery from the Anthony and Teressa Perry Collection, highlights important items from the Perry collection. The exhibition focuses on the skill and artistry of potters from eight of the Pueblo communities in New Mexico: Acoma, Cochiti, Laguna, Santa Ana, Santo Domingo, San Ildefonso, Zia, and Zuni. Built from the Earth will introduce visitors to the techniques of creating these works of art, discussing the historic methods rooted in the land and materials of New Mexico. The exhibition is on view in the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education, Murphy Gallery, June 24 through October 22, 2023.
“I am delighted to join Shelburne as the first Associate Curator of Native American Art. I look forward to my role in bringing Indigenous art and material culture to Shelburne’s audiences and amplifying the Indigenous voices represented in the collection,” Sunnergren said.
Sunnergren earned her master’s degree from the University of Delaware. Her bachelor’s degree is from Florida State University. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate and Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the University of Delaware.
About the Henry Luce Foundation
The Henry Luce Foundation seeks to enrich public discourse by promoting innovative scholarship, cultivating new leaders, and fostering international understanding. The Foundation advances its mission through grantmaking and leadership programs in the fields of Asia, higher education, religion and theology, art, and public policy.
The Luce Foundation's American Art Program supports innovative museum projects nationwide that advance the role of visual arts of the United States in an open and equitable society, and the potential of museums to serve as forums for art-centered conversations that celebrate creativity, explore difference, and seek common ground. The Foundation empowers museums to reconsider accepted histories, foreground the voices and experiences of underrepresented artists and cultures, and welcome diverse communities into dialogue. www.hluce.org
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About Shelburne Museum
Founded in 1947 by trailblazing folk art collector Electra Havemeyer Webb (1888–1960), Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont, is the largest art and history museum in northern New England and Vermont’s foremost public resource for visual art and material culture. The Museum’s 45-acre campus is comprised of 39 buildings including the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education and Webb Gallery featuring important American paintings by Andrew Wyeth, Winslow Homer, Grandma Moses, John Singleton Copley and many more. For more information, please visit shelburnemuseum.org.