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BerandaNewsSmithsonian American Art Museum Hires Dalila Scruggs as First African American Art Curator

Smithsonian American Art Museum Hires Dalila Scruggs as First African American Art Curator

Dalila Scruggs joins Smithsonian American Art Museum as the museum’s first-ever Augusta Savage curator of African American art. sarana99

Scruggs has a background in both educational and curatorial roles, with experience across numerous mediums including painting, prints, sculpture and photography from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Her position is named in honor of Augusta Savage, an artist, teacher, and community art program director associated with the Harlem Renaissance. In her new role, Scruggs will contribute to the museum’s exhibition program and collecting priorities related to African American art. She will also contribute to the cross-departmental initiative “American Voices and Visions” to reinstall the museum’s collection. Scruggs begins her new position on April 22. sarana99

“I am delighted to welcome Dalila Scruggs to SAAM as the inaugural Augusta Savage Curator of African American Art,” Stephanie Stebich, director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, said in a statement. “SAAM is home to one of the most significant collections of African American art in the world, and I am so pleased that Dr. Scruggs will bring fresh, thoughtful analysis to these works that evoke themes both universal and specific to the African American and the American experience.”

Since 2021, Scruggs has been the curator for photography and prints at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York. In 2020, she was a guest curator at the Brooklyn Museum. Prior that, she was a consulting curator at the Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at the University of Alabama, an assistant curator of American art at the Brooklyn Museum, and a curatorial fellow at the Williams College Museum of Art.

She has also written articles, among them,“Activism in Exile: Elizabeth Catlett’s Mask for Whites” for the American Art journal, and has contributed to books such as Brooklyn Museum: Highlights and The Awe of the Arctic: A Visual History, the latter for the New York Public Library. Scruggs earned her doctorate from Harvard University in the history of art and architecture.

The Augusta Savage curator of African American art position was funded by anonymous donors with a $5 million endowment. sarana99