Skip to content

Kathleen Ash-Milby

Curator of Native American Art

Kathleen Ash-Milby was appointed the Curator of Native American Art in 2019. Her responsibilities include the research, documentation, exhibition and care of both historic and contemporary collections.

Previously Ash-Milby was an Associate Curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in New York, where she organized numerous exhibitions including Transformer: Native Art in Light and Sound, with David Garneau (2017), Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist (2015) with David Penney, C.Maxx Stevens: House of Memory (2012), and Off the Map: Landscape in the Native Imagination (2007).  International projects include SITElines Biennial: much wider than a line, at SITE Santa Fe (2016); Mind (the) Gap: International Indigenous Art in Motion, Samstag Museum of Art, University of South Australia (2011); and Edgar Heap of Birds: Most Serene Republics, a public art installation and collateral project for the 52nd International Art Exhibition / Venice Biennale (2007).

Ash-Milby is a recipient of two Secretary of the Smithsonian’s Excellence in Research Awards for her exhibition and publication HIDE: Skin as Material and Metaphor (2010) and for the publication Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist. She was a fellow in the 2015 Center for Curatorial Leadership Program in New York and served on the boards of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective (2007-2012) and the American Indian Community House (2005-2007), and she was the president of the Native American Art Studies Association (2011-2015). Ash-Milby was the curator and co-director of the American Indian Community House Gallery in New York City from 2000 to 2005.

A member of the Navajo Nation, she earned her master of arts from the University of New Mexico in Native American art history and her bachelor of arts from the University of Washington.

Dawson W. Carr, Ph.D.

The Janet and Richard Geary Curator of European Art

Dawson W. Carr is The Janet and Richard Geary Curator of European Art, joining the Portland Art Museum in 2013 as the Museum’s first full-time curator of European painting and sculpture. He is responsible for the research, documentation, and interpretation of art made in Europe from antiquity to 1900, as well as the organization of exhibitions and the development of the collection.

From 2003 to 2012, Dr. Carr served as Curator of Spanish and Italian Paintings 1600–1800 at The National Gallery, London. In addition to spearheading notable acquisitions including works by Annibale Carracci, Guercino, and Giovanni Paolo Panini, he curated the exhibitions Caravaggio: The Final Years (2005), Velázquez (2006-2007), Pompeo Batoni (2008), and Venice: Canaletto and his Rivals (2011). From 2009, he also served as Head of Display, overseeing special installations and gallery renovations at The National Gallery.

As curator at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, from 1987 to 2003, he was involved principally with the acquisition of paintings and planning for the new museum at the Getty Center. There he organized the exhibitions Dosso Dossi: Court Painter in Renaissance Ferrara (1999) and Orazio Gentileschi in Genoa (2002–3).

Dr. Carr received a B.F.A. from Southern Methodist University, where his passion for the art of Spain began while working at the Meadows Museum. He earned his doctorate from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Dr. Carr has written extensively on Italian and Spanish art of the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

Mary Weaver Chapin, Ph.D.

Curator of Prints and Drawings

Mary Weaver Chapin joined the Portland Art Museum in 2012. She oversees a large and varied collection of more than 20,000 prints, posters, and artists’ books that date from the fifteenth century to the present. She is responsible for the care, collection, research, and exhibition of prints, and oversees the Haber Study Center in the Vivian and Gordon Gilkey Center for Graphic Arts.

Chapin has curated numerous exhibitions at the Museum including the loan shows Ellsworth Kelly/Prints from the collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer (2012), and David Hockney: A Rake’s Progress, presented in partnership with the Hockney Foundation and the Portland Opera (2015). She keeps a busy schedule curating thematic exhibitions that highlight the riches of the permanent collection. These include Mythologia: Gods, Heroes, and Monsters (2012–13); In the Studio: Reflections on Artistic Life (2013); Artist & Book: 100 Years (2013); Feast and Famine: The Pleasures and Politics of Food (2014); This Is War! Graphic Arts of the Great War (2014); and Now on View: Recent Acquisitions of Prints and Drawings Spanning 500 Years (2015).

A specialist in nineteenth-century French art, Chapin is a noted expert on Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec; she was the co-curator of the exhibition Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre, a major exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. which won the Association of Art Museum Curators Annual Prize for Best Museum exhibition in 2005. In 2012, she curated the exhibition Posters of Paris: Toulouse-Lautrec and His Contemporaries, mounted at the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts.

Chapin is a graduate of Wellesley College and earned her doctorate from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She writes and lectures widely on the graphic arts from the eighteenth-century to the present, and is the author of the catalogue raisonné of the graphic work of contemporary artist Warrington Colescott.

Julia Dolan, Ph.D.

The Minor White Curator of Photography

Julia Dolan, The Minor White Curator of Photography, oversees the research, documentation, and exhibition of the Museum’s permanent collection of more than 8,000 photographs.

Since 2010, Dr. Dolan has curated and co-curated more than twenty-five photography exhibitions at the Portland Art Museum including Contemporary Native Photographers and the Edward Curtis Legacy: Zig Jackson, Wendy Red Star, Will Wilson (2016), Subject/Object: Modernist Photography from the Bluff Collection (2015), Richard Mosse: The Enclave (2014), and Blue Sky: The Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts at 40 (2014). She has published essays in multiple publications including Geolocation: Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman (2015), Blue Sky: The Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts at 40 (2014), and The Question of Hope: Robert Adams in Western Oregon (2013).

Dr. Dolan received a B.F.A. in Photography from the Maryland Institute College of Art, an M.A. in Art History from the Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. in Art History from Boston University. She has worked with the photography collections at institutions including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Addison Gallery of American Art, and the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University.

Brian J. Ferriso

Director and Chief Curator

As the Director and Chief Curator of the Portland Art Museum, Brian Ferriso is responsible for leading all aspects of the institution, including seven curatorial divisions, exhibitions, acquisitions, collections, education and public programs, the Northwest Film Center, financial and strategic planning, human resources, Board of Trustees, and government and community relations. Since his appointment in 2006 the Museum has thrived under his guiding principles of art, access, and accountability.

Under Ferriso’s leadership the Museum has launched a diverse schedule of exhibitions and publications that have featured important works of art and presented new scholarship, with the goal of bringing art from around the world to Oregon as well as introducing the world to the art of the region. Exhibitions of special note during Ferriso’s tenure are: Wild Beauty: Photographs of the Columbia River Gorge, 1867-1957 (2008), The Artist’s Touch, The Craftsman’s Hand: Three Centuries of Japanese Prints from Portland Art Museum (2011-12), Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video (2013), The Question of Hope: Robert Adams in Western Oregon (2013-14), The Art of the Louvre’s Tuileries Garden (2104), The Enclave: Richard Mosse (2014-15), and Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection (2015) Ferriso also conceived of Masterworks/Portland, a series of single-work exhibitions, and has curated Raphael’s La Donna Velata (2009), Thomas Moran’s Shoshone Falls on the Snake River (2010), and Titian’s La Bella (2011-12). Ferriso is also responsible for launching a series of highly successful design-focused exhibitions that explore the influence of art and design on architecture, fashion, consumer goods, and luxury products. Highlights include China Design Now (2009), The Allure of the Automobile (2011), Cyclepedia: Iconic Bicycle Design (2013), and Italian Style: Fashion Since 1945 (2015). Major acquisitions for the collection under Ferriso’s tenure include works by Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt van Rijn, Gustave Courbet, Paul Gauguin, and Robert Rauschenberg, among others. Ferriso has been published in a number of exhibition catalogues and art publications, and has written articles for Curator: The Museum Journal and Museum magazine.

Committed to education and expanding free admission opportunities, Ferriso has doubled the size of the education department and created the Art Access Endowment, which supports in perpetuity free admission for children 17 and under, free school tours, and quarterly family free days. During Ferriso’s tenure, the Museum has operated with a balanced budget, added $13 million in new gifts to the endowment, and eliminated $7 million in unfunded debt.

Ferriso received a B.A. in economics from Bowdoin College, a M.A. in arts administration from New York University, and an M.A. in art history from the University of Chicago. He is a Trustee and recent President (2016-2017) of the Association of Art Museum Directors; a Trustee of the American Federation of Arts; and a member of American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and Young Presidents’ Organization. Ferriso is the recipient of the 2012 Excellency Award from the Foundation for Italian Art and Culture, and a member of the International Council Museum Berggruen Berlin. Previously, he was a Chief Executive Fellow at National Arts Strategies, a mentor and applicant reviewer for the Center for Curatorial Leadership, a Juror for the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Institute of Architects’ National Honor Awards, and as a Site Reviewer for AAM’s Accreditation Program. Additionally, Ferriso is a practicing artist, using training that he acquired while studying with Frank Mason of the Art Students League in New York City. In 2016 and 2017, he served as President of the Association of Art Museum Directors.

Jeannie Kenmotsu, Ph.D.

The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Asian Art

Jeannie Kenmotsu was appointed The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Asian Art in 2020 and is responsible for the research, interpretation, and development of the Asian collections of the Museum, comprising nearly 6,000 works of art ranging from historical to contemporary. Dr. Kenmotsu joined the Portland Art Museum in 2017 as Japan Foundation Assistant Curator of Japanese Art and was promoted to Associate Curator in 2019.

At the Museum, Dr. Kenmotsu has organized the exhibitions Craftsmanship and Wit (2017), Suzuki Harunobu and the Culture of Color (2018), Dramatic Impressions: Japanese Actor Prints (2019), and the 2020-21 exhibitions Objects of Contact: Encounters between Japan and the West and Joryū Hanga Kyōkai, 1956–1965: Japan’s Women Printmakers. She was also deeply involved in all curatorial aspects of the special exhibition Poetic Imagination in Japanese Art: Selections from the Collection of Mary and Cheney Cowles (2018), serving as co-editor of the accompanying catalogue.

A specialist in Japanese art of the Edo period (1615–1868), Dr. Kenmotsu has written on color printing and illustrated books in the eighteenth century, including entries for the Gerhard Pulverer Collection at the Freer|Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution. Prior to joining the Portland Art Museum, Kenmotsu assisted with the major international loan exhibition of Japanese painting, Ink and Gold: Art of the Kano (2015) at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She also worked closely with the print collections at Philadelphia, and co-curated the loan exhibition A Sense of Place: Modern Japanese Prints (2015). She has also been a visiting assistant professor of Asian art history at Scripps College.

Dr. Kenmotsu is a graduate of Pomona College and earned her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Japan Foundation, and Blakemore Foundation, among others. She is a Senior Fellow of the Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography (Rare Book School, University of Virginia).

Grace Kook-Anderson

The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art

Grace Kook-Anderson was appointed The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art in January 2017. Prior to joining the museum, she was an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art in the school of Art + Design at Portland State University and worked as an independent curator and arts writer. From 2008 – 2015, Kook-Anderson was the Curator of Contemporary Art at Laguna Art Museum.

During her tenure at Laguna Art Museum, projects included a site-specific commission, An Elongated Now by Lita Albuquerque, for the museum’s 2nd Art & Nature festival. Kook-Anderson curated Best Kept Secret: UCI and the Development of Contemporary Art in Southern California, 1964-1971 in conjunction with Getty’s Pacific Standard Time initiative and produced the accompanying award-winning catalogue. Kook-Anderson received a dual B.A. degree in art history and art practice from the University of California, Berkeley, and received her M.A. degree in Curatorial Practice from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

Sara Krajewski

The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

Sara Krajewski was appointed Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art in June 2015. From 2012 – 2015 Krajewski was the Director of INOVA (Institute of Visual Arts) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she curated an array of interdisciplinary exhibitions and performances with artists such as Xavier Cha, Mateo Tannatt, and Morgan Thorson. Krajewski was curator at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle from 2004 – 2012 where she focused on solo artist projects (Matthew Buckingham, Andrew Dadson, Jeffry Mitchell, Walid Raad, among others) and group exhibitions exploring photography’s impact on visual culture (Image Transfer: Pictures in a Remix Culture and Viewfinder).

Krajewski is the recipient of a Curatorial Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for research into emerging transdisciplinary artistic practices. She has held curatorial positions at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and the Harvard Art Museums.