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Elisabeth Agro

Elisabeth Agro

Elisabeth Agro is The Nancy M. McNeil Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Crafts and Decorative Arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She was hired to fill this inaugural curatorship in the department of American art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2006, quickly establishing partnerships across the Museum in order to take a broader, more international view of contemporary decorative arts. Highlights among her wide-ranging exhibitions and installations include Wrought & Crafted: Jewelry and Metalwork 1900 – Present, Interactions in Clay: Contemporary Explorations of the Collection, Craft Spoken Here, Lino Tagliapietra: Paintings in Glass, and Calder Jewelry. In 2014 she launched Techné, Ambassadors for International Craft, a Museum affinity group. She recently completed the fifth and final installation of the series At the Center: Masters of American Craft highlighting the contributions of major contemporary artists, mainly from the Philadelphia region. These exhibitions showcased these artists’ ingenuity,

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Elisabeth Agro is The Nancy M. McNeil Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Crafts and Decorative Arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She was hired to fill this inaugural curatorship in the department of American art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2006, quickly establishing partnerships across the Museum in order to take a broader, more international view of contemporary decorative arts. Highlights among her wide-ranging exhibitions and installations include Wrought & Crafted: Jewelry and Metalwork 1900 – Present, Interactions in Clay: Contemporary Explorations of the Collection, Craft Spoken Here, Lino Tagliapietra: Paintings in Glass, and Calder Jewelry. In 2014 she launched Techné, Ambassadors for International Craft, a Museum affinity group. She recently completed the fifth and final installation of the series At the Center: Masters of American Craft highlighting the contributions of major contemporary artists, mainly from the Philadelphia region. These exhibitions showcased these artists’ ingenuity, virtuosity, and impact on the field, but also challenged the notion of what defines sculpture. In combination with her curatorial work, Agro serves on several Museum-wide committees, The Contemporary Caucus, African American Art Working Group, and as an advisor to colleagues of the Art Information Task Force.

Philadelphia is a hot bed for craft organizations; it won’t surprise you to know that she is an advisor to the Philadelphia Museum of Art Women’s Committee, the Center for Art in Wood, The Clay Studio, CraftNow, The Philadelphia Potters, and the former Philadelphia Art Alliance. Agro is Co-founder and advisor of Critical Craft Forum.

Agro is proud to announce her contribution in the Museum’s forthcoming Catalogue of American Silver in the Collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Volume 1, which features metalsmiths from 17th to 21st centuries. The project that is currently consuming her attention but has captured her imagination is a major comprehensive survey of contemporary Korean art, planned for spring of 2021.

Ms. Agro received her BA in Italian Studies from Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, Virginia, and an MA in the History of Decorative Arts from Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution/Parsons School of Design, New York. Prior to joining the Philadelphia Museum of Art, she held a curatorial position in the department of decorative arts at Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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