Museum Staff

Emily G. Hanna, PhD

Senior Curator and Curator of the Arts of Africa and the Americas

Emily G. Hanna is Senior Curator, and Curator of the Arts of Africa and the Americas at the Birmingham Museum of Art. She received her MA and PhD from the University of Iowa, and began her curatorial training at the University of Iowa Museum of Art as a graduate student. She was awarded a graduate internship and later a Whitney Doctoral Fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, in between periods of graduate fieldwork in West Africa and Central America.

Prior to joining the Birmingham Museum of Art staff in 2002, she taught art history at Spelman College and Georgia State University, where she served as faculty coordinator of the art history department. She also curated exhibitions for the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, The High Museum of Art, and the Georgia State University Art Gallery. She is currently an adjunct faculty member at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and the University of Montevallo.

She has curated over twenty-five exhibitions of African, African-American, Native American, Caribbean, and Folk Art since coming to Birmingham. Her most recent projects include a reinstallation and expansion of the African permanent collection gallery (2013 – 2014), and the exhibitions Haitian Flags from the Cargo Collection (2015), Arctic Beauty: Inuit Art from Canada (2012), Spiral: Reflections on an African-American Art Collective (2011), African Artistry in Iron and Clay (2010), Lift Every Voice: African-American Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art (2009), and Fabric of Life: African Textiles and Quilts from the American South (2008).

Her publications include journal articles, exhibition catalogs and essays, book and exhibition reviews, and teacher training manuals.