Dallas Museum of Art Appoints Sarah Schleuning as The Margot B. Perot Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design
Accomplished Curator Brings a History of Developing Successful Exhibitions and Programs That Expand Knowledge, Inspire the Public, and Diversify Museum Audiences
Today the Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art Agustín Arteaga announced the appointment of accomplished curator and scholar Sarah Schleuning as The Margot B. Perot Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design. Serving as an expert in her field for more than two decades, Schleuning has had a notable career that includes numerous much-admired and extremely well attended exhibitions and insightful contributions to noted publications. Since 2011, she has overseen the collection of decorative arts and design at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, where she spearheaded major special exhibitions, including two of the museum’s top ten most-visited shows. More recently, she is known for her expert ability to form relationships with contemporary designers and artists to explore how engaging with art and design can extend beyond the museum’s walls. Schleuning will begin her new role at the DMA on March 5, 2018.
As The Margot B. Perot Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design, Schleuning will be responsible for the DMA’s Decorative Arts and Design collection, internationally recognized as one of the foremost decorative arts collections in the United States. With more than 8,000 works of art spanning a chronological range of six centuries, from the 15th century to the present, the collection includes a broad range of media such as furniture, textiles, glassware, ceramics, metalware, and, most significantly, silver. The collection’s strength in the area of European and American decorative arts is world-renowned, with special emphasis in 18th-century English silver, 19th- and 20th-century American silver and ceramics, and 20th-century design. In her role, Schleuning will also oversee decorative arts and design exhibition planning, development, and scholarship and future acquisition efforts. A particular focus will be the expansion of the Museum’s contemporary holdings, which have seen recent growth from gifts such as the Rose-Asenbaum Collection of over 700 exceptional pieces of modern and contemporary studio jewelry in 2015.
Schleuning will be tasked with enhancing the Museum’s holdings and continuing to build the DMA’s reputation for presenting and developing groundbreaking exhibitions. She brings a track record of thoughtful exhibitions and programs that are not only high profile and highly popular but also recognized for their contributions to scholarship. Her efforts to bridge the gap between historical and contemporary design will contribute to the Museum’s goal to diversify its decorative arts and design holdings.
“We are extremely happy to welcome Sarah Schleuning to Dallas and to have her join the DMA’s creative curatorial team,” said Arteaga. “Sarah brings not only a wealth of experience and knowledge on decorative arts and design, but also an interest in developing imaginative and new ways to enhance community engagement, outreach, and access. Her fresh understanding of the relationship between design objects and the development of our societies and histories is an exciting perspective on the world we live in today. I look forward to her leadership and creativity in developing innovative programming to enhance the DMA’s new mission of being a space of wonder and discovery where art comes alive.”
During her tenure at the High Museum of Art, Schleuning organized and curated numerous dynamic and acclaimed exhibitions, including serving as co-organizing curator for the nationally touring Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion, which broke attendance records at the High Museum of Art, making it the eighth most-attended show; the exhibition was on view this past summer at the DMA. Other notable exhibitions that range from historical scholarship to pushing the conceived boundaries of what defines a museum exhibition are Technicolor: New Works by Jaime Hayon (2017); Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas (2014), which is the tenth most-attended show at the High Museum; Earl Pardon’s Portable Art: Jewelry & Design (2015); and Bangles to Benches: Contemporary Jewelry and Design (2013). She has also made numerous significant additions to the High Museum of Art’s respected collection, including Paul Frankl’s Dressing Table, Marcel Wander’s Crochet Chair, Joris Laarman’s Heatwave Radiator, Jaime Hayon’s Green Chicken, and Molly Hatch’s two-story installation Physic Garden.
Schleuning has a strong and successful history working collaboratively with contemporary artists and designers on installations that expand knowledge, inspire the public, and diversify museum audiences while growing awareness of art and design. She played a key role in developing curatorial strategies for the current rejuvenation of the High Museum of Art to expand audiences and access to the collections. Schleuning also served an integral role in establishing and working with national and international institutional and creative partners to create and develop new perspectives, ideas, and possibilities for a series on the High’s Piazza of outdoor interactive installations, increasing community engagement and offering the opportunity to explore how to engage with art outside of the museum galleries.
“It is an honor and a privilege to join the Dallas Museum of Art and champion the power and impact design plays in our lives and our communities,” said Schleuning. “I look forward to the opportunity to build connections through objects—whether they are works rooted in the past or visions of the future—to create meaning and relevance to our present.”
Prior to joining the High Museum, Schleuning served as Curator at the Wolfsonian-Florida International University, having previously held positions as a Fellowship Coordinator and Assistant Curator at the institution, where she produced exhibitions, publications, and programs with a focus on highlighting the power and impact of art and design in daily life. She joined the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, in 2000 as Curatorial Collections Fellow, advancing to Assistant Curator with a focus on art, architecture, craft, and design.
Schleuning graduated from Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences with a Bachelor of Arts. She received her Masters of Arts in the History of Decorative Arts from Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in conjunction with Parsons School of Design. In 2015 she was a fellow at the Center for Curatorial Leadership. She frequently contributes to scholarly publications and serves as a leading resource for decorative arts and design, speaking at lectures, symposiums, and public programs throughout the country.
About the Dallas Museum of Art
Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is among the 10 largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation, and public engagement. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 24,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the nation’s largest arts district, the Museum acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations. Since the Museum’s return to free general admission in 2013, the DMA has welcomed more than 3.2 million visitors. For more information, visit DMA.org.
The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Members and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.