Indianapolis museum announces curatorial appointments

Indianapolis museum

From left: Kelli Morgan, Anna Stein and Robin Lawrence. Indianapolis Museum of Art images

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields has added new strength to its curatorial department. Dr. Kelli Morgan has been appointed the new associate curator of American Art, Anna Stein was promoted to assistant curator of works on paper and Robin Lawrence has been promoted to manager of curatorial affairs.

“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Morgan to the IMA’s curatorial team, and to promote both Anna Stein and Robin Lawrence to their new positions,” said Dr. Preston Bautista, deputy director of Public Programs and Audience Engagement. “We have added three bright and talented individuals to our growing curatorial department who will help us reinvent the museum’s practices and develop exhibitions and installations that will help us see art and our collections afresh. Their work has already had a tremendous impact on our community.”

– Dr. Kelli Morgan, Associate Curator of American Art
In this role, Morgan will manage and refine the IMA’s significant collection of American Art and provide curatorial oversight for future exhibitions. The IMA’s collection of American paintings and sculptures include some of the most iconic and beloved works such as LOVE, Robert Indiana’s original sculpture made of Cor-ten steel, Gamin by Augusta Savage and Jimson Weed by Georgia O’Keeffe.

Originally from Detroit, Morgan earned her doctorate in Afro-American studies and a graduate certificate in Public History – Museum Studies in 2017 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. As a scholar and curator, Morgan has worked in a variety of curatorial, programming, teaching and research positions at various institutions, including the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, Wayne State University, the University of Michigan, the Birmingham Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In early 2014, Morgan was awarded a dissertation fellowship by the prestigious Ford Foundation. She was also named the Curatorial Fellow of African American Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art (2014–2015) and in 2016 became the inaugural recipient of the Winston & Carolyn Lowe Curatorial Fellowship for Diversity in the Fine Arts at PAFA.

As a critical race cultural historian, Morgan specializes in American art and visual culture. Her interdisciplinary research concentrates primarily on historic African-American women artists, however, her curatorial work often examines, critiques and theorizes the ways in which American artists, art objects, art history and art institutions both challenge and support the systematic mechanisms of anti-Black violence and oppression in the United States. By analyzing the ways in which Americans construct visual discourses, conceptualize images and sometimes resist these discourses, Morgan’s curatorial and teaching practices link art history, women’s studies, African American history and museum studies to create stimulating and culturally sensitive educational opportunities for students and public audiences alike.

– Anna Stein, Assistant Curator of Works on Paper
As the Assistant Curator of Works on Paper, Stein will manage and provide curatorial oversight for the IMA’s collection of over 20,000 prints, drawings and photographs,  including the museum’s renowned collection of watercolors and prints by J.M.W. Turner. Stein curated the current photography exhibition, “Natural Abstraction: Brett Weston and his Contemporaries,” as well as collaborated on numerous past IMA exhibitions like “19 Stars of Indiana Art,” “Chemistry of Color” and “Audubon: Drawn to Nature.”

She started at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2015 as the curatorial assistant for European and American Paintings, sculpture and works on paper. Before coming to   Indianapolis, she was a Research Associate at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Stein has an MA in Art History from Penn State.

– Robin Lawrence, Manager of Curatorial Affairs
Since 2015, Lawrence has overseen the collection assessment of the IMA’s vast holdings, which has resulted in the Museum improving its collecting objectives and deaccession process. The manager of curatorial affairs is responsible for ensuring that the daily and long-term goals of the Curatorial Department ar fulfilled while continuing to hone collecting and curatorial practices.

Prior to joining the IMA in 2013, Lawrence lived in Washington, D.C., where she received her master’s degree from George Washington University. She has worked at the General Services Administration Fine Arts Collection, the History Factory and the Smithsonian Museum of American History. Lawrence is also one of the curators for the upcoming exhibition, “Sensual/Sexual/Social: The Photography of George Platt Lynes,” organized with the Kinsey Institute, Indiana University, which opens Sept. 30.