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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University September 24, 2007 | Vol. 37 No. 4
JHU Names First Curator of Cultural Properties

James Archer Abbott is the new curator of Evergreen Museum & Library. Jacqueline O'Regan has been named Johns Hopkins' first curator of cultural properties.
Photo by Will Kirk/HIPS

Jackie O'Regan tapped for post; new curator also announced for Evergreen

By Heather Egan Stalfort
JHU Museums

Jacqueline O'Regan has been named Johns Hopkins' first curator of cultural properties, a position that will address ways in which the university collects and manages its extensive cultural resources. The appointment is a major part of the university's recent efforts to raise the profile of the arts for the Johns Hopkins and Baltimore communities.

O'Regan will be responsible for objects that range widely from fine art and furniture to historical teaching equipment, photographs, architecture, sculpture and the collections of Homewood Museum and Evergreen Museum & Library. O'Regan has been curator of Evergreen since 2000.

"Jackie O'Regan's diverse background, technical expertise and passion for art are an excellent match for the demands of this new position," said Winston Tabb, director of the Johns Hopkins University Museums as well as Sheridan Dean of University Libraries and vice provost for the arts. "She will play a key part in increasing the visibility of the university's outstanding collections of art and cultural artifacts and in ensuring that they are looked after properly so that future generations will be able to access them."

In her new role at Johns Hopkins, O'Regan will develop ways in which to strengthen and promote these collections so that they may be used by students, faculty, staff and the wider community, whether for research, teaching, conversation or enjoyment.

The curator of cultural properties will be located organizationally in the Sheridan Libraries' Special Collections Department.

Before coming to Evergreen Museum & Library, O'Regan was at the Baltimore Museum of Art, where she worked as a conservation technician, conservation assistant and finally as assistant conservator. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a master of fine arts degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art's Hoffberger School of Painting.

James Archer Abbott will succeed O'Regan as curator of Evergreen Museum & Library, where he will oversee the display and continued development of Evergreen's art collections, organize exhibitions and manage the historic house museum's preservation efforts.

Evergreen's permanent collection consists of more than 20,000 works of art assembled by Baltimore's Garrett family, including post-Impressionist paintings, masterworks of decorative art, Chinese porcelain, Japanese lacquerware and one of the largest collections of Tiffany glass in private hands.

"For a university museum with high standards for excellence like ours, Jim Abbott's experience, breadth of interest and record of scholarly publication made him the ideal candidate to succeed Ms. O'Regan," Tabb said. "He will undoubtedly contribute significantly to the future interpretation of its collections and most importantly will establish closer ties between Evergreen and Johns Hopkins' academic programs."

Most recently, Abbott was curator at the Woodrow Wilson House, a National Historic Landmark and house museum in Washington, D.C. Previously he worked as an adjunct professor at the Corcoran College of Art, curator of decorative arts at the Baltimore Museum of Art, curator and coordinator of education for Boscobel Restoration in Garrison-on-Hudson, N.Y., and assistant curator at Historic Hudson Valley in Tarrytown, N.Y. Abbott graduated from Vassar College and holds a master's degree in museum studies from the Fashion Institute of Technology.

About his future work, Abbott said, "Evergreen Museum & Library is a wonderful compilation of fine and decorative arts, rich in its layering and importance. I look forward to adding to the museum's recognized efforts to share its collections with a variety of audiences, as well as in having them serve as backdrop and inspiration for new explorations in the arts."

Abbott and O'Regan will assume their new positions in November.


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