Staff Updates – July 2013

/ Staff Updates

Dr. Anne Forschler-Tarrasch, The Marguerite Jones Harbert and John M. Harbert III Curator of Decorative Arts, has been named Senior Curator. Anne has been with the Museum since September 1999. During her tenure she has curated a number of exhibitions and gallery installations and is the author of the comprehensive catalogue European Cast Iron in the Birmingham Museum of Art. Anne also oversees the Museum’s internship program.

At the National Art Education Association annual conference in Fort Worth, Texas, during the first week of March, Curator of Education Samantha Kelly presented Adrift Without a Guide? Strategies for Engaging Self-Guided Museum Visitors with Toby Tannenbaum, Assistant Director for Education at The J. Paul Getty Museum. The session explored experimental strategies for encouraging visitors to slow down, look closely, connect with, and truly contemplate original works of art. A national audience of art museum educators learned about the innovative strategies newly available to visitors in the BMA including the Meditation Station in the Japanese gallery, the Mystery Object kiosk in the 18th-century English gallery, and interactive iPad apps featuring the permanent collection and exhibitions such as The Look of Love

 On February 28, Assistant Curator of Education for Visitor Engagement Kristi McMillan served as a judge for the 2013 Veterans Fine Arts, Applied Arts and Crafts Competition. This annual program provides veterans receiving treatment at the Birmingham Veterans Administration Medical Center with an opportunity to be acknowledged for their artistic talents and skills. Local first place entries in each category, selected by a panel from the local art community based on creativity, skill, originality, and total presentation, go on to compete in the VA’s national art competition.


Artist-in-Residence Toby H. Richards presented a sumi-e workshop entitled Sumi-e: The Art of Relaxation to students, faculty, and staff at the University of Alabama at Birmingham on April 12 as part of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Also a form of meditation, sumi-e is classical Asian black ink painting that focuses on simple brushstrokes used to communicate the essence of a subject. Richards has studied, taught, and exhibited her sumi-e work in Japan. She continues to develop and to teach Asian design principles.


Donald Wood, Senior Curator and The Virginia and William M.Spencer III Curator of Asian Art, was recently honored by his hometown of Barberton, Ohio. The Barberton Board of Education inducted Don into the Barberton Academic Hall of Fame on May 2. Don is the first inductee to represent the fine arts in the Hall of Fame. Don had lunch with a number of current Barberton High School students and was joined at the awards banquet that evening by family, friends, and former classmates.