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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

September 25, 2007
CONTACT: Amy Lunday

Winnetka Resident is a Student Curator
at Johns Hopkins

Margaret Deli's exhibition at Evergreen Museum & Library
is on display through Jan. 22

Winnetka, Ill., resident Margaret Deli is helping Johns Hopkins University mark a milestone: She is the first student curator at the university's Evergreen Museum & Library, where "Exhibiting Alice," the show she conceived and planned, goes on display Friday, Sept. 28.

Deli, a senior who is double majoring in history of art and English with a double minor in Writing Seminars and French literature, was selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants for Evergreen's student curator internship, which provides a rare educational opportunity for undergraduates who are preparing for professional and scholarly careers, particularly at museums.

Margaret Deli
Margaret Deli adjusts a Gari Melchers portrait of Alice Warder Garrett that hangs at Evergreen Museum & Library.
Photo by Will Kirk / HIPS
"Her recommendations and writing sample were of such a high standard," said Jackie O'Regan, curator of Evergreen Museum & Library. "Her undeniable enthusiasm and passion for Evergreen, which resonated throughout her application letter, were also very impressive."

The intern program was created to give students hands-on experience in the curatorial profession by producing small exhibitions exploring Evergreen-related topics or themes.

Having served as a volunteer docent at the museum since her freshman year, Deli was well-informed about Evergreen's history and collections. She says she knew as soon as she heard of the curator program while studying in France, what — or rather whom — she wanted to focus on if chosen: Alice Warder Garrett, Evergreen's last resident.

To complement the museum's fall exhibition, Dufy: The Evergreen Collection — featuring expressive works by French colorist Raoul Dufy acquired by Garrett during the 1930s — Deli decided to research the modern art gallery that Garrett opened in Paris during the summer of 1934, when it's likely that she and Dufy were introduced.

She discovered that this "patron's gallery," as its owner called it, was an opportunity for Garrett to demonstrate her novel theories about art patronage.

"Exhibiting Alice," Deli said, "is a focus show about Alice Warder Garrett's modern art exhibitions, but it's also about Alice herself and the ideas she formulated about what constitutes a responsible art patron. It wasn't about buying art for your own enjoyment; she wanted people to buy art and display it so that others, particularly those less fortunate than her, could see it as well. It's why she was one of the first trustees of the Baltimore Museum of Art, and why she and her husband [John Work Garrett] made sure that their home and collections would always remain open to the public."

In 1942, when John Work Garrett — a career diplomat, ambassador to Italy and Johns Hopkins trustee — died, he left Evergreen, along with his extensive collections of art, coins, rare books and stamps, to the university. Prior to her death in 1952, his widow established the Evergreen House Foundation and bequeathed to it her important collection of early 20th-century paintings and an endowment, the income from which helps to maintain the museum and its programs. Evergreen was restored in the late 1980s and opened to the public in 1990 for tours and special cultural and educational programs. The house's John Work Garrett Library is part of the university's Sheridan Libraries.

The exhibition mounted by Deli includes paintings by Roger Chastel, Andre Denoyer de Segonzac, Andre Planson and Maurice Brianchon, all of whom participated in Garrett's 1934 exhibitions in Paris. Items drawn from Evergreen's archives, including exhibition pamphlets, photographs, newspaper excerpts and Garrett's writings on art patronage, also will be on display.

Deli will give a gallery talk beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 28 at the show's opening reception. Exhibiting Alice remains on view through Jan. 22 as part of regular museum tours.

Deli is the daughter of Steven Deli and Mary Jo LaViolette. She graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka in 2004.

Note: High resolution photographs of Deli are available by contacting Amy Lunday at 443-287-9960 or acl@jhu.edu.