Oct. 29: Smithsonian curator to speak

Serwer to discuss National Museum of African American History and Culture


1:34 p.m., Oct. 14, 2014--Jacquelyn Days Serwer, chief curator of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., will be featured in a special lecture at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 29, in 230 Alfred Lerner Hall on the University of Delaware campus in Newark.

Serwer will speak on the topic “Building the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture: A Curator’s Perspective.”

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The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences’ Paul R. Jones Initiative and the University Museums.

Her visit coincides with the art exhibition “Renderings: New Narratives and Reinterpretations” on view in UD’s Mechanical Hall Gallery.

Serwer is a curator and art historian who joined the staff of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) as chief curator in 2006. Her research specialties include American art and African American art, 19th century to the present, and museum studies. 

At the National Museum of African American History and Culture, she focuses primarily on building the museum’s foundational collection and developing exhibition projects for the near term, as well as planning for the museum’s new building to open on the National Mall in 2016. 

Previously she served for six years as chief curator of the Corcoran Gallery of Art where she coordinated all museum activities. 

Serwer, who taught art history at the École des Beaux Arts in Geneva and at Brooklyn College, received her master of arts degree from the University of Chicago and her doctorate from the City University of New York. She earned her bachelor of arts degree at Sarah Lawrence College. Her career as a museum professional began at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.  

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is dedicated to the richness and diversity of the African American experience and how it has helped and continues to shape the American nation.

While in Delaware, Serwer also will visit the Winterthur Museum and its conservation laboratories.

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