The Dayton Art Institute has announced the appointment of Jerry N. Smith, Ph.D., as the museum’s Chief Curator, effective September 26.
“After an extensive national search, we are excited to welcome Dr. Jerry Smith to the museum and the Dayton community,” said The Dayton Art Institute’s Director & CEO Michael R. Roediger. “Dr. Smith possesses an extensive curatorial, scholarly and administrative background–skills that will be immediately utilized as the museum prepares for its centennial in 2019.”
In his role as Chief Curator, Smith will provide leadership to the museum’s curatorial department, guiding the vision of future collection installations and special exhibitions. A key part of that will be the reinstallation and reinterpretation of the museum’s permanent collection galleries, planned as part of The DAI’s centennial celebrations. The Dayton Art Institute’s permanent collection numbers more than 26,000 objects, with as many as 1,000 on view at any time.
“I’m excited to join the Dayton community and am looking forward to working with The Dayton Art Institute’s team,” Smith said. “With a world-class collection and storied history, The DAI has a tremendous amount to celebrate with its coming centennial. I’m honored to be part of that celebration.”
Smith most recently served as the Hazel and William Hough Chief Curator and Interim Director at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida. Prior, he held leadership positions at the Phoenix Art Museum for more than a decade, where he began as associate curator in 2005, was appointed to Curator of American and Western American Art in 2009, and later to Curator of American and European Art to 1950 and Art of the American West in 2014.
In these positions he introduced numerous works into the museums’ collections and oversaw more than 40 exhibitions that spanned the art of the Renaissance to American modernism and contemporary art of the American West. The diverse exhibitions he has curated or co-curated include Georgia O’Keeffe: Ingénue to Icon, Riding Tall: The Cowboy in Art, Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester and The Power of Observation and Andy Warhol: Portraits.
He was a contributing organizer and catalogue essayist for In Contemporary Rhythm: The Art of Ernest L. Blumenschein and Cézanne and American Modernism. Smith authored Howard Post: Western Perspectives, and was co-author of Don Coen: The Migrant Series. He recently collaborated on a chapter for Visitor-Centered Exhibitions and Edu-Curation in Art Museums (2017).
Smith holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art history from Arizona State University and received his Ph.D. in the history of art from the University of Kansas. Active in The Association of Art Museum Curators, he serves in career support groups, as liaison between mentors and mentees, and currently sits on the governance and nominating committee.