Unruh joins Kemper Art Museum

Specialist in modern and contemporary art named associate curator

Allison Unruh, PhD, has been appointed associate curator of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis.

A specialist in modern and contemporary art, Unruh will research, develop and curate both temporary exhibitions and exhibitions relating to the Kemper Art Museum’s permanent collection.

Unruh. Photo by Kalliopi Minioudaki.

Other responsibilities will include collection research; recommending new acquisitions; developing publications and related programming; and working with donors, collectors, peer institutions and the general public.

In addition, Unruh will pursue interdisciplinary collaborations with the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, the Department of Art History & Archaeology in Arts & Sciences and other university areas, as well as with local art institutions. She begins Nov. 2.

Unruh recently served as curatorial associate at the Princeton University Art Museum, where she worked on projects for the modern and contemporary collections. Previously at Princeton, she contributed to the catalogue “Cézanne and the Modern: Masterpieces of European Art from the Pearlman Collection” (2014).

As an independent art historian, Unruh worked on various publications, including “Warhol’s Rococo: Style and Subversion in the 1950s” for the volume “Rococo Echo: Art, Theory and Historiography” (2014) and “Robert Indiana and the Politics of Family” in “Robert Indiana: New Perspectives” (2012), for which she also served as editor. Current projects include contributions to an exhibition catalogue on artist and author Rosalyn Drexler and an essay on Brooklyn-based artist Jonathan VanDyke.

From 2008-2010, Unruh served as assistant curator at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, where she co-curated “Andy Warhol Enterprises” (2010), an examination of Warhol’s lifelong exploration of commerce, consumerism and the business of art making. She also co-edited the accompanying catalogue, contributing an essay on “Signs of Desire: Warhol’s Depictions of Dollars.” Other curatorial credits there include “Josephine Meckseper: Recent Films” and “Heather Rowe: Tenuous Arrangements,” as well as a re-installation of the museum’s contemporary collection.

Born in Hawaii and raised in Princeton, N.J., Unruh earned a doctorate in art history from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts in 2008, completing her dissertation on the Rococo Revival in Second Empire France. She earned a master’s degree from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, England, in 1998; and a bachelor’s degree in art history from Harvard University in 1997.

About the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum

The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, part of Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, is committed to furthering critical thinking and visual literacy through a vital program of exhibitions, publications and accompanying events. The museum dates back to 1881, making it the oldest art museum west of the Mississippi River. Today, it boasts one of the finest university collections in the United States. To learn more, visit kemperartmuseum.wustl.edu and follow the museum on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.