“We are thrilled to have Ms. Al-Khudhairi take the lead of our Modern and Contemporary Art collection,” says Gail Andrews, R. Hugh Daniel Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art. “Her extensive curatorial experience has exposed her to incredible collections and networks around the world. I am confident her international experience will strengthen efforts to expand our global approach to the collection, while her engaging curatorial style will only deepen our relationships within the community.”
Jeannine O’Grody, Deputy Director and Chief Curator added: “Wassan has expressed a deep commitment to curatorial work. Her interest in delving into our existing collection to mine and evaluate it will be critical in determining the future of our Contemporary Art collection.”
Al-Khudhairi was previously Co-Artistic Director at the Gwangju Biennale Foundation in South Korea, where she collaborated on the curation of the ninth edition of the Gwangju Art Biennale. During her tenure, she contributed the exhibition catalogue and a number of essays including Thoughts on Revisiting Histories, an essay for the Gwangju Biennale Roundtable.
Prior to her time in South Korea, Al-Khudhairi served as the Founding Director of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Qatar, which she helped to establish from the ground up. At Mathaf, she spearheaded the development of the institutional vision and strategic plan and initiated the cultivation of community relationships and support of the Museum. Among the exhibitions Al-Khudhairi curated were Sajjil: A Century of Modern Art and Cai Guo-Qiang: Saraab, and collaborated with fellow scholars and guest curators on a number of projects.
She has lectured around the world on the subject of modern and contemporary art, specifically related to the Middle East. Other past experience includes positions at the Brooklyn Museum and the High Museum of Art.
Al-Khudhairi holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Georgia State University and a Master of Arts with Distinction in Islamic Art and Archaeology from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. She completed the Museum Leadership Institute program at the Getty Leadership Institute at Claremont Graduate University and most recently participated in the Independent Curators International Curatorial Intensive in New York.