Campus & Community

Carpenter Center appoints new director

2 min read

Dan Byers foresees a ‘diverse program with artists at its center’

The Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (CCVA) announces the appointment of Dan Byers as the John R. and Barbara Robinson Family Director, effective June 1.

Byers will oversee exhibitions and programs, developing a long-range vision for the CCVA that brings together artists, exhibitions, students, and communities at Harvard and beyond.

“Dan Byers has a wealth of curatorial expertise, and he is arriving when ambitions for the arts at Harvard are stronger than ever,” said Robin Kelsey, dean of arts and humanities. “I look forward to supporting his efforts to make the Carpenter Center buzz and spark.”

Byers said he was thrilled “to join the thriving arts community at Harvard, and honored to lead the Carpenter’s excellent staff to collaborate with colleagues close at hand in the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, Harvard Film Archive, and Harvard Art Museums.”

“I foresee a diverse program with artists at its center, building on CCVA’s recent reinvigoration, to create a program that is locally and internationally relevant, experimental, and inclusive, the kind of art center we need now more than ever,” said Byers.

Byers has served as senior curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston since 2015. Recent projects included the solo exhibitions of Diane Simpson and Geoffrey Farmer, as well as the group exhibitions “The Artist’s Museum” and the 2017 “Foster Prize Exhibition.”

Before his move to Boston, Byers was curator of modern and contemporary art at Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. There, he served as co-curator, with Daniel Baumann and Tina Kukielski, of the 2013 “Carnegie International,” a widely acclaimed global exhibition that staged a conversation in four parts: a major exhibition of new international art, a project on artist- and architect-designed playgrounds, the museum’s collection, and an engagement with the city of Pittsburgh. Other projects included solo exhibitions by Cathy Wilkes, Ragnar Kjartansson, and James Lee Byars, as well as the group exhibitions “Ordinary Madness” and “Reanimation: Jones, Koester, Nashashibi/Skaer.”

“Dan’s thoughtful, dynamic and collaborative curatorial practice is well-suited to the teaching and research mission of the University,” said Lynette Roth, head of the division of Modern and Contemporary Art at Harvard Art Museums. “We are eager to strengthen further our shared commitment to the production and exhibition of contemporary art with Dan at CCVA’s helm.”