POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — Mary-Kay Lombino has been appointed the new Emily Hargroves Fisher '57 and Richard B. Fisher Curator at Vassar College's Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, succeeding Joel M. Smith. Lombino joins the Art Center from the California State University at Long Beach Art Museum, where she was Curator of Exhibits.
After a three-month international search, Lombino was selected from a pool of very well qualified applicants, according to James Mundy, director of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center. "For a college museum with high standards for excellence like ours, she has the energy, breadth of interest, and experience that will immediately be valuable," said Mundy.
Lombino has received a Getty Curatorial Research Fellowship, and for Bob Knox: Non-Fiction Paintings, she and her co-curator were honored by the International Art Critics for the Best Exhibition of an Emerging or Under-Known Artist (2003). Lombino was also chosen by the Fund for U.S. Artists at International Exhibitions to curate an exhibition of contemporary artist Mungo Thomson, for the 2004 Bienal Internacional de Cuenca, Ecuador.
"Our search committee was impressed by her focus on contemporary art and her track record of excellent exhibition ideas," Mundy said. Lombino has also curated Remodeling: New Ideas on the Form and Function of Architectural Models, Under Construction: The Architecture of Marmol Radziner + Associates, and By Hand: Pattern. Precision, and Repetition in Contemporary Drawing. In addition, she has produced exhibits for a number of other contemporary artists, including Ken Price, Amy Myers, Gay Outlaw, Brad Spence, Euan Macdonald, and Alice Könitz.
Lombino was earlier the assistant curator at the Hammer Museum of the University of California, Los Angeles. She received her MA in Museum Studies from the University of Southern California in 1995.
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center was founded in 1864 as the Vassar College Art Gallery. The current 36,400-square-foot facility, designed by Cesar Pelli and named in honor of the new building's primary donor, opened in 1993. The Lehman Loeb Art Center's collections chart the history of art from antiquity to the present and comprise over 16,000 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and glass and ceramic wares. Notable holdings include the Warburg Collection of Old Master prints, an important group of Hudson River School paintings given by Matthew Vassar at the college's inception, and a wide range of works by major European and American twentieth century painters. Vassar was the first U.S. college founded with a permanent art collection and gallery, and at any given time, the Permanent Collection Galleries of the Art Center feature approximately 350 works from Vassar's extensive collections.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.