The Curatorial Department’s primary responsibility is to steward the development, care, installation, research, and interpretation of the museum’s Fine Art Collection, which comprises more than 7,000 works of modern and contemporary art by a diverse range of artists from around the world. The Fine Art Collection is noteworthy for late-nineteenth-century Impressionist favorites, a remarkable group of early modernist works from the beginning of the twentieth century, a world-renowned collection of mid-twentieth-century American painting, and a growing collection of cutting-edge international contemporary art from recent decades. Generous gifts of works from artists themselves have been transformational to the collection, including major bequests from Clyfford Still (American, 1904–1980) and Marisol (María Sol Escobar, Venezuelan and American, born France, 1930–2016). The curators lead the Albright-Knox’s robust program of innovative special exhibitions, exhibition partnerships with other museums, and rotating installations of the Fine Art Collection. The Curatorial Department oversees additional departments, including those responsible for the museum’s Archives and Special Collections, Art Preparation, Digital Assets, and Registration. Curators also frequently collaborate with the Public Art Department.
Cathleen Chaffee, PhD
Holly E. Hughes
Godin-Spaulding Senior Curator for the Collection
Tina Rivers Ryan, PhD
Andrea Alvarez, PhD
Julia Vázquez, PhD
Archives and Special Collections
The Archives and Special Collections Department ensures the long-term preservation and accessibility of information that is of enduring historical value to the museum, staff, and external scholars and researchers. Some of these records include exhibition files, administrative documents, photographs, publications, ephemera, and special collections, such as rare books and the Clyfford Still Photo-Documentation Collection. Archives and Special Collections collaborates with all departments throughout the institution to continue strengthening the museum’s collective memory.
The Art Preparation Department works closely with the Curatorial, Registration, and Facilities Departments to aid in the care, housing, and display of objects in the museum’s Fine Art Collection. As needed, the department also helps bring Public Art Initiative projects to fruition. The department oversees all aspects of the handling, movement, and installation of art throughout the museum’s main campus, in its storage facilities, and in regional exhibition locations, ensuring the safe installation of all collection artworks, loaned artworks, and exhibitions.
The Digital Assets Department is responsible for the digitization, care, and management of the museum’s ever-growing collection of digitized and born-digital assets. Such assets tell the museum’s visual story, as they document the Fine Art Collection and other related collections, past and present exhibitions, events, buildings and grounds, staff, and visitors. In collaboration with staff, external researchers, and colleagues from other museums, the department creates and distributes digital content worldwide for reproduction online and in print.
The Registration Department is responsible for implementing policies and procedures related to caring for both the museum’s Fine Art Collection and incoming loans of artworks to special exhibitions. Duties include overseeing insurance coverage, conservation, contracts and loan agreements, packing, shipping, customs procedures, fine art storage, documentation, and condition reports.