Friday, July 11, 2008

MFA in-house memo on Brutvan

Here is the memo that was e-mailed to Boston Museum of Fine Arts staff yesterday morning announcing contemporary art curator Cheryl Brutvan’s departure:
From: Katie Getchell
Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2008 9:41 AM
To: Everyone - All Locations
Subject: Staff Announcement - Cheryl Brutvan

I am sorry to report our esteemed colleague Cheryl Brutvan, Robert L. Beal., Enid L., and Bruce A. Beal Curator of Contemporary Art and Head of the Department plans to leave the Museum. Please join me in wishing Cheryl well after ten years of accomplishment and commitment to our institution.

Cheryl joined the MFA in 1998 and presided over a transformational decade for contemporary art at the Museum. She has organized and presented numerous exhibitions including “Takashi Murakami: Made in Japan,” before the superstar was well known and the first solo exhibition in an American museum of Damien Hirst's work. Cheryl secured the gift of the Blake Purnell collection which manifested itself in “A Singular Vision: The Melvin Blake and Frank Purnell Legacy.” She initiated the thought-provoking and timely exhibition “War and Discontent” which engaged the Teen Arts Council by way of including personal statements from them next to object labels and gave us a taste of what the Gund gallery will be when filled with contemporary art with the exhibition “Jasper Johns to Jeff Koons: Selections from the Broad Collections.” Using acquisitions as her inspiration, Cheryl also presented “Sophie Ristelhueber: Details of the World,” “Susan Rothenberg: Paintings from the Nineties,” “Cecily Brown” and, most recently, the retrospective exhibition “Antonio López García” which has brought much acclaim. Cheryl has also authored the MFA Publications “Details of the World” and “A Singular Vision: The Melvin Blake and Frank Purnell Legacy” and “Antonio Lopez Garcia.” She co-authored “John Currin” with William Stover.

Cheryl initiated the RSVPmfa project series bringing the work of Jon Borofsky and Sarah Sze – both Boston natives – to the MFA for the first time (and to stay, as we acquired both works). With the generosity of supporters and museum funds, she made dozens of other acquisitions including paintings by Joan Mitchell, Takashi Murakami, Susan Rothenberg, Robert Mangold, Chuck Close, and Cecily Brown; sculptures by Joel Shapiro, Mona Hatoum, George Segal, and Josiah McElheney; a blackboard by Joseph Beuys and video projection by Bruce Nauman.

We are especially appreciative of Cheryl’s recent effort to secure (with the financial support of Trustee Ernst Von Metzsch and his wife Gail) the acquisition of Antonio López García’s “Day and Night” sculpture that now graces the State Street Corporation Fenway Entrance façade providing a contemporary touch to this majestic entry. With this and so many other acquisitions, Cheryl leaves a great legacy as she moves on to new endeavors.

Please join me in thanking Cheryl for her dedication to the Department of Contemporary Art over the last ten years and wishing her the best for the future. Cheryl will be working full time through July 31; I am delighted that she will stay on as the Guest Curator for the “Rachel Whiteread” exhibition in the Foster Gallery opening on October 15, 2008, and in that capacity will be working part time through the end of the calendar year.


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