Before ascending to one of the most coveted curatorial jobs in New York, Sylvia Yount spent years working in the South, where she developed a deep appreciation for the region’s culture. As the keynote speaker for the fourth annual installment of Voices in American Art, Dr. Yount, who now serves as the first female curator of the Metropolitan Museum’s iconic American Wing, will deliver a lecture that connects her Southern experiences and her achievements as a pioneering female professional with a recurring theme in her scholarship: art created by women.
Her presentation, “A Region of Their Own: Southern Women Artists,” is the centerpiece of the popular yearly symposium sponsored by the Johnson Collection. Open to the public at no charge, the event will take place at Chapman Cultural Center on Mar. 15, 2017, at 7pm. No reservations or tickets are required.
Sylvia Yount became the Lawrence A. Fleischman Curator in Charge of the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in September 2014. She is responsible for the administrative oversight of the Wing, with its ten curators and twenty-five other staff and volunteers. She also provides vision and leadership, while defining collecting, interpretation, and audience-engagement goals for the historic department of fine and decorative arts from the colonial period to the early-twentieth century. Before moving to the Met, she spent seven years as Chief Curator and the Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Curator of American Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and six as the Margaret and Terry Stent Curator of American Art and department head at the High Museum of Art. She began her curatorial career at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, America’s oldest art school and museum, in 1993.
In addition to completing pivotal collection reinstallations at her former institutions, Yount has organized major exhibitions (with accompanying catalogues) on Cecilia Beaux, Maxfield Parrish, and American modernism, among other topics. She received a Ph.D. and a M.A. in the History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. in Italian from New York University. Yount has lectured and published widely on late nineteenth and twentieth century American art and culture as well as on issues of curatorial responsibility and current museum practice.
Created in support of the Johnson Collection’s mission to increase understanding of the dynamic role that art of the South plays in the larger context of our national history, Voices in American Art brings arts professionals from across the country to Spartanburg for annual symposiums that engage the cultural and college communities. Previous VIAA speakers include Jane Panetta, Associate Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art; Jan Postma, Chief Financial Officer of the Museum of Modern Art; Elizabeth Pochoda, former editor of “The Magazine Antiques”; and Sarah Cash, Associate Curator of American and British paintings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.
Hailed by “The Magazine Antiques” with staging a “quiet art historical revolution” and expanding “the meaning of regional,” the Johnson Collection offers an extensive survey of artistic activity in the American South from the late eighteenth century to the present day. In May 2016, the Spartanburg-based collection received the Governor’s Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award for the Arts, South Carolina’s highest honor in the field.
For more information, please visit (www.thejohnsoncollection.org).