The Brigham Young University Museum of Art has hired Dr. Kenneth Hartvigsen as Curator of American Art. The retention of Dr. Hartvigsen was precipitated by the retirement of long-time Curator of American Art, Dr. Marian Wardle, who acted in this role for over 14 years. Dr. Hartvigsen will continue the scholarly legacy of Dr. Wardle, researching and publishing the BYU Museum of Art’s collection, engaging diverse American Studies faculty across campus, and curating exhibitions that support a wide variety of disciplinary curricula.
Kenneth J. Hartvigsen received his PhD in Art History from Boston University, specializing in American Art and visual culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Since returning to Utah in 2013, Dr. Hartvigsen has taught art history at BYU, Westminster College and Weber State University, and most recently curated the current exhibition Reality Reorganized: Walter Askin and Wayne Kimball’s Mysterious Discursions at the BYU Museum of Art.
BYU Museum of Art Director Mark Allen Magleby noted, “Kenneth brings a distinctive scholarly eye to our institution, and during the rigorous hiring process, it became clear that Kenneth has already invested considerable thought in the potential of the BYU Museum of Art’s collection from its colonial beginnings to the contemporary moment. We should all have high expectations of Kenneth’s future reinterpretation of our permanent collection.”
The BYU Museum of Art is recognized for the robust American, religious, and contemporary permanent collections. A major part of Dr. Hartvigsen’s role will be to curate exhibitions that showcase these collections and create an intellectually and spiritually enriching experience for visitors.
“Kenneth brings our museum a rich background in American scholarship and beyond,” said Head Curator Ashlee Whitaker. “He is an insightful scholar with an enthusiasm and gift for helping others to understand and see artworks in a meaningful way. Kenneth’s thoughtful approach promises a wonderful synergy to our curatorial team and the Museum of Art as a whole.”
Dr. Hartvigsen began in his new role in June 2016. He said, “I look forward to working with the tremendous staff at the MOA and contributing to the museum’s tradition of excellence through exhibitions that engage and entertain our audience but that always encourage a deeper discussion about some aspect of the human experience.”
Dr. Hartvigsen is curating the upcoming contemporary exhibition, Rebecca Campbell: The Potato Eaters, opening September 30, 2016 at the BYU Museum of Art.