The Portland Museum of Art (PMA) is pleased to announce that Dr. Andrew Eschelbacher has been appointed as the Susan Donnell and Harry W. Konkel Assistant Curator of European Art. Eschelbacher will be responsible for overseeing the PMA’s collection of European art, including long-term loans from the Isabelle and Scott Black Collection and the Albert Otten Collection, as well as developing special exhibitions and other projects. He will start on September 2, 2014.
“We are thrilled that Andrew has been hired as our new European curator at this exciting time for the PMA,” said PMA Director Mark H.C. Bessire. “He will join curators Karen Sherry (American Art) and Jessica May (Contemporary and Modern Art)—together, they will make a strong curatorial team. Andrew will begin by energizing our European program with the reinstallation of the collection in 2016, and in the future with scholarly focused exhibitions.”
A specialist in 19th- and early 20th-century European art, Eschelbacher brings to the PMA experience both in the museum field and in academia. In 2010-11, he worked at the Petit Palais Museum in Paris on the 2013 exhibition Jules Dalou: Sculpteur de la Republique (the artist was also the subject of Eschelbacher’s doctoral dissertation). While at the Petit Palais, he was involved in an exhibition of medallions that was being organized with the Musée d’Orsay and other Parisian museums. Several years earlier, he collaborated with the Newcomb Art Gallery at Tulane University in New Orleans and was the lead author of the exhibition catalogue From Society to Socialism: The Art of Caroline Durieux. Eschelbacher has also been involved with the National Gallery of Art’s Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative project, which is considering ways in which digital museum catalogues and websites may amplify the museum experience. Eschelbacher most recently served as an assistant professor of art history at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia, where he led the school’s Paris Study Abroad Program. He has published and presented on his scholarly work and has been the recipient of numerous prestigious fellowships and awards, including an American Council of Learned Societies/Mellon Foundation Dissertation Completion Fellowship. He holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Maryland, College Park, an M.A. in Art History from Tulane University, and a B.A. in French and French Literature from Davidson College in North Carolina. A native New Englander, he is fluent in French.
Echelbacher joins the PMA’s curatorial staff, which includes: Chief Curator and Curator of American Art Karen Sherry; Curator of Contemporary and Modern Art Jessica May; Curatorial Coordinator Ariel Hagan Elwell; and Curatorial Assistant Mollie Armstrong.