Skip to content

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.

Dawson Carr