Kevin Murphy, curator of American art at Crystal Bridges Museum, is headed to Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., in September for a curatorial and teaching job there. His departure will be the third of three hires he came in with: Matt Dawson, who was a deputy director, and David Houston, director of curatorial, preceded him in heading to new pastures.
Diane Carroll, museum spokesperson, said the museum is making progress in hiring a new director of curatorial and that person will be involved in hiring someone to replace Murphy. Murphy came to Crystal Bridges from the Huntington Library in Los Angeles.
There have been several staff changes since the museum opened in 2011, the first the departure of former curator Chris Crosman. (The Walton Family Foundation recently made a gift of $25,000 to the Farnsworth Art Museum in Maine, where Crosman once worked, in Crosman’s honor.) Ex-director Don Bacigalupi is now president of the museum and serves on its board; the director’s job was filled by Rod Bigelow, who like Bacigalupi came to Crystal Bridges from the Toledo Museum of Art. Dawson’s position was not filled. Carroll said the museum engaged a heavy curatorial staff prior to opening because it had 2,000 works of art not yet on view, and that the staffing pattern change reflects the different needs of the museum. She declined to say how much in advance the museum knew of Murphy’s plans to leave.
Murphy is curating the “Angels and Tomboys: Girlhood in 19th-Century American Art” exhibit that opens June 29; here’s a New York Times’ review of the show when it appeared in Newark.