Campus & Community

Dackerman named curator of prints

3 min read

Former curatorial intern returns after posts at Baltimore, Philadelphia museums of art

Susan Dackerman: 'Studying real artworks is an inspiring and unparalleled experience, one that can stimulate a lifelong visual and intellectual engagement with art.' (Photo courtesy of Baltimore Museum of Art)

Thomas W. Lentz, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard University Art Museums, announced Friday (March 4) the appointment of Susan Dackerman as the new Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Curator of Prints at the Fogg Art Museum. Dackerman will assume the position on July 5, after the retirement of the incumbent, Marjorie B. Cohn, longtime curator and conservator and former acting director of the Art Museums.

“Susan brings exceptional enthusiasm, dedication, and experience to the position,” Lentz said. “Her insights as a scholar and educator and her expertise in curatorial affairs make her an ideal choice to lead our teaching, collecting, and program efforts in the area of prints, and a worthy successor to Jerry Cohn.”

Dackerman comes to the Fogg after two years at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and nine years at the Baltimore Museum of Art, where she rose from assistant curator to head of the prints, drawings, and photographs department. While leading the department’s staff of eight and maintaining a collection of 65,000 works on paper, she continued to organize exhibitions, raise funds for acquisitions, and undertake research.

The result of Dackerman’s most significant recent scholarship was the celebrated exhibition “Painted Prints: The Revelation of Color in Northern Renaissance and Baroque Engravings, Etchings, and Woodcuts,” which broke new ground in the field. Presented with its accompanying catalog at the Baltimore museum in fall 2002, the exhibition demonstrated that painting prints was a highly regarded practice during the Renaissance and overturned longstanding assumptions about 16th century prints as purely monochromatic images.

Commenting on her appointment, Dackerman said, “I know personally the significant role that a good university museum can play in the lives of its students, scholars, and publics. Studying real artworks is an inspiring and unparalleled experience, one that can stimulate a lifelong visual and intellectual engagement with art. I am grateful for the opportunity to work alongside a talented staff toward our shared goal of continued excellence in scholarship.”

Dackerman is a graduate of Vassar College in art history (B.A. ’86) and holds advanced degrees in art history from Bryn Mawr College (M.A. ’91, Ph.D. ’95). Her partner, Helen Molesworth, is chief curator at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio.

Marjorie (Jerry) Cohn, the current Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Curator of Prints, has worked at the Harvard University Art Museums for 42 years. She was a conservator and served as director of the Center for Conservation and Technical Studies (now the Straus Center for Conservation) before assuming her present position, and has twice filled the challenging role of acting director of the Harvard University Art Museums. Cohn is also a senior lecturer in the Department of History of Art and Architecture and serves as president of the Print Council of America, the North American organization of curators of prints, drawings, and photographs.

“I am pleased and made proud by the appointment of Susan as the next Weyerhaeuser Curator,” Cohn said. “I am pleased because she will be a great curator and proud because she was once an intern at the Fogg under my supervision, and every teacher wants to be succeeded by her student!”