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The Denver Art Museum (DAM) announced the appointment of William Morrow as the Polly and Mark Addison Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, concluding an extensive international search. Morrow will oversee the DAM’s broad collection of contemporary art as well as continue the museum’s strong tradition of presenting world-class temporary and traveling exhibitions. One of Morrow’s first projects at the DAM will be to join the curatorial team for Nick Cave: Sojourn, an exhibition of new work debuting at the museum in June 2013.
“William Morrow is a creative leader in the contemporary art field who will continue to grow and evolve the Denver Art Museum’s collection and programming,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM. “He brings great experience working with contemporary artists and creating programs that push the boundaries of the art world but also deeply engage a variety of audiences by producing art, community and conversation around the creative process—aligning perfectly with our institutional goals.”
Morrow was most recently the founding director of 21c Museum—an innovative private and public space in Louisville, Ky., that is in conjunction with 21c Hotel. During his tenure there, from 2005 to 2011, Morrow launched the museum portion of the space, developing and administering a dynamic visual arts program of emerging and internationally recognized artists that also included artist forums, film, dance, music, theater and other time-based artwork. Through Morrow’s efforts, 21c Museum became a cultural center for the city and an interesting new model for future art spaces.
“I’m honored to lead the contemporary art collection and build on the momentum of the museum,” said Morrow. “Denver is an exciting community that values art and culture. I want to show our visitors the incredible art that is created in this state, while at the same time, showcasing a national and global perspective on contemporary art.”
“William has extraordinary vision about the broader context of contemporary art, and in particular, a keen eye for spotting emerging voices,” said Jeremy Dean, a New York-based multidisciplinary artist. “One has to look no further than the roster of shows he has produced to see that he has been involved early on with artists who are now shaping the world of contemporary art. But more than anything, it is his willingness as a curator to take risks, elevating new ideas to the status of art, and thereby expanding our definition of what art can be that makes him so valuable.”
In conjunction with his role as director of 21c Museum, Morrow was the curator of the private collection of Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, managing all aspects of their artwork from installation to acquisitions to collection care from 2005 to 2011. This included developing a 7,000 square foot storage facility for the collection of more than 2,500 artworks. In 2000, he completed an internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy, gaining knowledge about day-to-day museum operations. Morrow obtained a Master of Museum Studies from the School for World Art and Museum Studies at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, and a Master of Art History and English Literature from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland in 2004. He also received a certificate of art history from the University of Cambridge and an associate of arts degree from Brevard College in North Carolina. Actively involved in the art and culture community, Morrow sits on the board of the Louisville Film Society, on the founding board of the Kentucky School of Art and was a founding member of the Commission on Public Art, Louisville, Ky. Morrow frequently serves as a panelist, lecturer and guest curator on contemporary art.
About the DAM’s Modern and Contemporary Art Collection
The modern and contemporary art collection features internationally prominent artists as well as emerging talents, including many who live and work in the western United States. In 2001, contemporary art collectors Vicki and Kent Logan gave more than 200 artworks to the modern and contemporary art department—the largest donation in the history of the department. In 2008, a new works-on-paper gallery was added to the third level, with regularly rotating exhibitions. A new media gallery on the fourth level, Fuse Box, showcases the talent of young, up-and-coming artists and rotates regularly. The collection, which is global in scope, includes works by artists such as Matthew Brannon, Jonas Burgert, Nicole Eisenman, Damien Hirst, Bjørn Melhus, Alan Rath, Neo Rauch, Ed Ruscha, Charles Sandison, David Schnell, Beverly Semmes, Richard Serra, Sean Scully, Sandy Skoglund, Shinique Smith and Andy Warhol. The department of modern and contemporary art also includes impressive holdings of Colorado artists, as well as the Herbert Bayer Collection and Archive.
About Denver Art Museum
Online Newsroom: www.denverartmuseum.org/press