MMFA hires new curator, months after Black curator resigned

Anne-Marie St-Jean Aubre will take over as curator of Quebec and Canadian Up to date Artwork (1945 to right now), starting June 12.

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The Montreal Museum of Nice Arts has named a brand new curator of Quebec and Canadian modern artwork, 4 months after the lady who beforehand held the place stepped down saying she was employed as an “picture of change” however not supported.

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Anne-Marie St-Jean Aubre will take over because the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Curator of Quebec and Canadian Up to date Artwork (1945 to right now), starting June 12. She replaces eunice bélidor (who doesn’t use capital letters in her title), who resigned in January after lower than two years on the job, saying she was employed to symbolize range however was by no means given the instruments to thrive on the establishment.

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Employed in April, 2021, bélidor grew to become the primary Black curator within the museum’s historical past.

“I believe everybody desires to work in collegiality, studying and sharing data and experiences,” she instructed the Gazette by e-mail in March. “It was not my expertise.”

In an interview with Brooklyn-based on-line arts journal Hyperallergic, bélidor mentioned: “Establishments don’t care about Black workers’ well-being.

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eunice bélidor looks at the camera
eunice bélidor was employed because the Montreal Museum of Nice Arts’ curator of Quebec and Canadian modern artwork in 2021. Picture by Pierre Obendrauf /Montreal Gazette recordsdata

Describing herself as “the Black Lives Matter rent,” she continued: “Establishments don’t wish to make modifications. They simply need it to seem like they’re making modifications.”

In a March interview with the Gazette, MMFA director Stéphane Aquin denied the museum employed bélidor as a result of she is Black, saying she was employed as a result of she was one of the best candidate.

“We employed her as a result of we believed she was the proper individual for this job,” he mentioned. “We needed her to convey a broad perspective on artwork historical past, to convey a brand new voice and perspective.”

Aquin acknowledged bélidor “was not supported sufficient,” saying, “We are going to see what we will do to enhance.”

St-Jean Aubre, who’s white, holds a Grasp of Arts from Université du Québec à Montréal and a Bachelor of Nice Arts and French Literature from the College of Ottawa. She has labored as an artwork critic, impartial curator and museum curator for over 12 years.

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Mary-Dailey Desmarais, chief curator of the MMFA, was not obtainable for an interview about St-Jean Aubre’s hiring.

“The Montreal Museum of Nice Arts is thrilled to welcome Anne-Marie St-Jean Aubre to its group,” Desmarais mentioned in a press release. “She has demonstrated an impressive dedication to the development of Quebec and Canadian artists on each a nationwide and worldwide stage. Her in depth data of latest practices, her shut ties with the inventive group and her sensitivity to points affecting our society make her a useful asset to our establishment, which aspires to current new views on artwork and provides voice to artists of our time.”

Stephen A. Jarislowsky was equally enthusiastic.

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“Canadian museums are the place to point out Canadians and the world the gorgeous work of our artists,” he mentioned in a press release. “The MMFA was in a position to appeal to a brand new curator for the gathering whose data of Canadian artwork is acknowledged as unsurpassed by consultants throughout Canada.”

Earlier than the MMFA, St-Jean Aubre was curator of latest artwork on the Musée d’artwork de Joliette, the place she highlighted ladies artists and artists from numerous cultural backgrounds.

She has served as a curator on the SBC Gallery of Up to date Artwork, and curator and inventive co-director on the Darling Foundry, each in Montreal. She has additionally overseen solo and group exhibitions on the Clark and Diagonale artwork centres, and the Musée d’artwork contemporain des Laurentides in St-Jérôme. Her writings have been printed within the journals Ciel variable and Esse Arts + Opinions.


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