For Immediate Release
Contact: Cara Egan,
SAM Public Relations
Seattle Art Museum Promotes Curator Chiyo Ishikawa to Deputy Director of Art
As Deputy Director for Art, Ishikawa will oversee the museum’s artistic program, and will provide artistic leadership for the expansion of the downtown museum, scheduled to open in 2007. Ishikawa will also remain the Curator of European Painting and Sculpture. A national search is underway for the position of Jon and Mary Shirley Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.
“We are thrilled that Chiyo is taking the artistic lead for the museum,” said Gates. “Her engaging personality, internationally-acclaimed scholarship and extraordinary leadership on the new installation of the permanent collection galleries for the downtown expansion make her the perfect fit for Deputy Director of Art.”
Ishikawa has curated a host of acclaimed exhibitions at SAM, most recently the international exhibition Spain in the Age of Exploration 1492-1819 which she co-organized with Spain’s Patrimonio Nacional. She edited the accompanying catalogue and her work on the exhibition garnered a prestigious award from His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain called The Order of Isabel la Católica. Originally an award for American officials and dignitaries who were loyal to Spain or its New World colonies, it is now awarded for merit.
“I am honored to be working with SAM’s incredible curatorial team on building a strong artistic program for the future,” said Ishikawa. “With the Olympic Sculpture Park and the downtown expansion on the horizon, this is an exciting time for SAM.”
Ishikawa joined SAM as assistant curator of European painting in 1990. Her other exhibition achievements at SAM include A Gift to America: Masterpieces of European Painting from the Samuel H. Kress Collection (1995), 1997’s Leonardo Lives: The Codex Leicester and Leonardo da Vinci’s Legacy of Art and Science (co-curated with Trevor Fairbrother), Impressionism: Paintings Collected by European Museums (1999) and the recent Renaissance Art in Focus: Neri di Bicci and Devotional Painting in Italy (2004).
Her book, The Retablo of Isabel la Catolica by Juan de Flandes and Michael Sittow (2004) recently won the prestigious Eleanor Tufts Award from the American Society of Hispanic Art Historical Studies. She also contributed essays to the exhibition catalogue Leonardo Lives: The Codex Leicester and Leonardo da Vinci’s Legacy of Art and Science, a catalog of Seattle’s Kress Collection of European paintings, which was funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the 1995 exhibition catalog for A Gift to America which she co-authored.
As adjunct faculty in Northern European painting at the University of Washington’s History of Art Department, Ishikawa continues to teach graduate seminars there on museum studies using SAM’s collection. While working towards a Ph.D. in art history at Bryn Mawr College, she held NEA-supported internships at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.