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Georgia Museum of Art hires Nelda Damiano

Friday, August 31, 2018

After a national search, the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia has hired Nelda Damiano as its Pierre Daura Curator of European Art, effective immediately. Damiano comes to the museum from the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, in Jacksonville, Florida, where she was associate curator. At the Cummer, she organized exhibitions, conducted primary and original research on its permanent collection and other objects, gave lectures and actively engaged with the museum’s community.

Prior to her work at the Cummer, Damiano was curatorial assistant in prints and drawings and then senior exhibitions manager at the National Gallery of Canada, in Ottawa, Ontario. She received her doctoral degree in art history from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, where she wrote her dissertation on the Italian Renaissance artist Francesco Salviati. She obtained a master’s degree in museum studies and a bachelor’s degree in French literature and art history, both from the University of Montreal, and has worked on exhibitions ranging from the Renaissance in Florence and Caravaggio to James McNeill Whistler, John Ruskin, Van Gogh and the World War I prints of James McBey.

Damiano, a Canadian citizen, is fluent in French, English and Italian. She received several fellowships while at McGill to pursue her research in Italy. Her specialty is Italian Renaissance art, a particular interest of the Georgia Museum of Art, which has a Samuel H. Kress Study Collection that consists of 12 Italian Renaissance and Baroque paintings. The museum also benefits from the long-term loan of the collection of Giuliano Ceseri, which includes many Italian master drawings as well as 19th- and 20th-century works on paper. Damiano considers herself a works on paper scholar first and foremost and is enthusiastic about digging into the museum’s collection. She also looks forward to the opportunities that her presence on the campus of a large research university will afford her, including collaboration with scholars in other fields.

Established at the Georgia Museum of Art in 2002 as a gift from Martha Randolph Daura in honor of her father, the Pierre Daura Center contains a collection of paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures by the Catalan-American artist Pierre Daura (1896–1976), who co-founded the important artists’ group Cercle et Carré. The gift included the artist’s archive, with important material relevant to modern art from the 1920s through the 1960s, and an endowment to support both the center and the position of Pierre Daura Curator of European Art. This gift facilitates and broadens the presentation and study of European art at the museum.

The Pierre Daura Center initiates and promotes the exhibition and study of the works of Pierre Daura and the contextualization of his oeuvre and career. The Pierre Daura Curator of European Art directs the center as well as the museum’s programming in European art: research, exhibitions, publications and acquisitions. Daura’s works can be found in numerous museums throughout the United States and Europe, including the San Diego Museum of Art, San Antonio Museum of Art, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya and Musée National d’Art Moderne - Centre Georges Pompidou. In addition, Daura’s former house and studio in the picturesque French village of Saint-Cirq Lapopie is now a lively artists’ residence, the Maisons Daura.

Dr. William Underwood Eiland, director of the museum, said, “With the appointment of Nelda Damiano as our newest Daura Curator, we are assured of growth in the quantity and quality of our European holdings as she and the staff work together to expand the Daura Center, of which she will be the steward. I and the staff are excited upon her arrival, and in the short time she has been with us, she has almost worn out one pair of track shoes, so quickly has she adapted to our fast pace here.”

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Writer: Hillary Brown, hazbrown@uga.edu
Contact: Michael Lachowski, 706-542-9078, mlachow@uga.edu

Museum Information
Partial support for the exhibitions and programs at the Georgia Museum of Art is provided by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The Georgia Council for the Arts also receives support from its partner agency, the National Endowment for the Arts. Individuals, foundations and corporations provide additional museum support through their gifts to the University of Georgia Foundation. The Georgia Museum of Art is located in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex on the East Campus of the University of Georgia. The address is 90 Carlton Street, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. 30602-1502. For more information, including hours, see georgiamuseum.org or call 706.542.4662.

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