Discover Arts and Crafts from a Curator’s Perspective

Curator Nonie Gadsden will be traveling from the Museum of Fine Arts n Boston to participate in our Forging Ahead Forum on October 15.  Her fascinating lecture, “Arts and Crafts in the Museum: Past, Present & Future,” will be grounded in the rich history of Arts and Crafts in museums (of which, the MFA played an important role), and then explore how that has evolved and may further evolve in coming years.

Gadsden is the Carolyn and Peter Lynch Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture Art of the Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  She previously served as the Charles F. Hummel Fellow at the Chipstone Foundation, a private organization dedicated to promoting scholarship in the American decorative arts in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the Associate Curator of Decorative Arts at the Milwaukee Art Museum. In Milwaukee Gadsden contributed to the reinstallation of the decorative arts galleries in partnership with the Chipstone Foundation (2001), curated several exhibitions including “Skin Deep: Three Masters of American Inlaid Furniture” (2002) and “Design Reform: Decorative Arts and the Manifesto, 1850-1920” (2003), and served as the organizing curator with major contributions to “American Fancy: Exuberance and Delight in the Arts” (2004). At the MFA, she has participated in numerous gallery reinstallations, served as the organizing curator for the traveling exhibition “A New and Native Beauty: The Art and Craft of Greene and Greene” (Torf Gallery, July 14-October 18, 2009), and most recently has focused her efforts on the installation of the MFA’s new Art of the Americas Wing, which opened in November 2010.  

Gadsden has written several articles and book reviews for scholarly art journals, wrote major contributions for both A New World Imagined: Art of the Americas (2010), and MFA Highlights: American Decorative Arts & Sculpture (2006), as well as authored Art and Reform: Sara Galner, the Saturday Evening Girls and the Paul Revere Pottery (2006). An exhibition based on this publication traveled to the Milwaukee Art Museum in 2007. She has lectured to a wide variety of audiences and participated in several symposia.

She holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.A. from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture at the University of Delaware.

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