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Sarah Ganz Blythe Named Samuel H. Kress Foundation & AAMC Foundation Affiliated Fellow at the AAR

Monday, March 18, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Monica Valenzuela
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Research to focus on artists who navigated the inequities of artistic training


March 21, 2019, New York - The Association for Art Museum Curators (AAMC) Foundation is thrilled to announce that Sarah Ganz Blythe, Deputy Director, Exhibitions, Education & Programs, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum, has been awarded the 2019–2020 Samuel H. Kress Foundation and AAMC Foundation Affiliated Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome (AAR).

The Fellowship will enable Ganz Blythe to investigate historical narratives of the fine arts training of artist educators whose stories have been marginalized, distorted, ignored, or silenced. In particular, her time at the AAR will allow her to develop a body of work regarding Guillaume Guillon Lethière (1760–1832), an artist of color from Guadeloupe who was the longest-serving director of the French Academy in Rome, and Louise-Joséphine Sarazin de Belmont (1790–1871), who despite being forbidden to compete for the Prix de Rome was one of the few women artists to travel to Rome to complete her artistic training. She resided in the city for two decades and later educated women artists in her studio.

“I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to examine artistic training in Rome in the later 18th and 19th century, with a focus on two artists whose legacies have been marginalized because of race and gender,” noted Sarah Ganz Blythe. “Critical analysis of historical pedagogies can present new paths to more equitable, inclusive art schools and museums and broaden our understanding of art history.”

Sarah Ganz Blythe collaborates with scholars, artists, and designers to realize exhibitions, programs, and publications. Her current work focuses on exhibition culture, pedagogy, and interpretation practices. She is Deputy Director for Exhibitions, Education, and Programs at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, and was previously Director of Interpretation and Research at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. She teaches in the graduate programs of Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University, Providence. Ganz Blythe is the editor-in-chief of Manual: a journal about art and its making. Her recently released book Why Art Museums? The Unfinished Work of Alexander Dorner (MIT Press, 2018) focuses on the curator’s years in the United States and his approach to recreating museums as active and relevant learning environments. Her PhD in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University focused on painting and utopianism in Paris at the close of the 19th century.

Launched in 2014, the Fellowship provides a four-week appointment, including housing at the AAR, for curators to develop projects that require research in Italy. The Program, supported by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, offers a focused opportunity to advance research and exhibition development.  Past Fellows include: Andaleeb Badiee Banta, Senior Curator and Department Head, The Baltimore Museum of Art (2016-2017 Affiliated Fellow); Dr. Hilliard Todd Goldfarb, Associate Chief Curator and Curator of Old Masters, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (2014-2015); Judith Mann, Curator, European Art to 1800, Saint Louis Art Museum (2015-2016); Seth Pevnick, Curator of Greek and Roman Art, The Cleveland Museum of Art (2018-2019); and Jessica Powers, The Gilbert M. Denman, Jr., Curator of Art of the Ancient Mediterranean World, San Antonio Museum of Art (2017-2018). Read more about the program here.


About Association of AAMC & AAMC Foundation

Founded in 2001, the AAMC today has over 1,300 members from over 500+ institutions around the globe. Together the AAMC & AAMC Foundation celebrate the curatorial narrative by supporting and promoting the work of art curators at all stages in their career through opportunities for networking, collaboration, professional development, and career advancement.  In the ever-changing, non-profit visual art world, the AAMC Foundation is the voice for all curators—regardless of field, experience level, and institutional type.  It ensures that the curatorial perspective on art, museums, and educational issues is actively communicated to the public, media, and museum profession. Learn more at


About the Samuel H. Kress Foundation:

The mission of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation (est. 1929) is to sustain and carry out the original vision of founder, Samuel H. Kress (1863-1955). The Kress Foundation supports the work of individuals and institutions engaged with appreciation, interpretation, preservation, study and teaching of the history of European art and architecture from antiquity to the dawn of the modern era.


About the American Academy in Rome

Founded in 1894, the American Academy in Rome is a leading international center for independent studies and advanced research in the arts and humanities. Each year, following a national juried competition, the Rome Prize is awarded to approximately 30 Americans working in Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern, and Modern Italian Studies, and Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Design, Historic Preservation and Conservation, Literature, Musical Composition, and Visual Arts. The annual application deadline for the Rome Prize is November 1. To learn more, please visit:


The AAMC and AAMC Foundation are grateful for the funding support provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation for this Fellowship, and are thankful to have partners, such as the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and American Academy in Rome, that share our mission.



Judith Pineiro, Executive Director, 212/879-5701,


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