MADISON, Wis. – The Chazen Museum of Art at the University of Wisconsin–Madison has named Carolyn Herrera-Perez as its first curator of glass and ceramics. She joined the team on Jan. 23. Herrera-Perez is a potter turned researcher with interest in modern and contemporary craft and materials from the Americas. Her background includes work in material and craft research, curatorial procedures, and dedication to early career mentorship. She comes to the Chazen from Material Intelligence, a Chipstone Foundation quarterly publication where she served as a contributing editor.
“Carolyn Herrera-Perez brings a commitment to accessibility and mentorship that pairs well with the Chazen Museum of Art’s mission to serve as a rich cultural resource for students at UW–Madison and everyone in the surrounding community,” said Amy Gilman, the Chazen’s director. “As the Museum continues to focus on collecting with attention to diversity and inclusion, we eagerly anticipate the acquisitions, special exhibitions and other programs that will result from Carolyn’s work.”
In this inaugural role, Herrera-Perez will oversee the museum’s holdings of contemporary and historic art glass and ceramics, expand the collection, assist in conservation planning, and guide the museum’s student employees. Her priorities will also include assessing the museum’s recent acquisition of nineteenthth-century mold-made British ceramics. The bequest from the late Frank Horlbeck will make the Chazen one of the top American institutions for studying the material. Many of Herrera-Perez’s efforts will consider UW–Madison’s history with a particular focus on the studio glass movement, of which the University’s former ceramics professor Harvey K. Littleton was the co-founder.
“Connecting people through craft and sharing underrepresented narratives are at the core of my work. This inaugural role at the Chazen will allow me to pursue that goal further. I look forward to delving into the Chazen’s permanent collection and collaborating with the local community to devise ways to best share the Museum’s collection of glass and ceramics with the students at UW–Madison and the public, ensuring that everyone feels welcome,” said Herrera-Perez.
Herrera-Perez’s research has been published in Material Intelligence, Studio Potter, and the exhibition catalog for Peters Valley: Present. She holds bachelor’s degrees in art history and art studio from The State University of New York at Potsdam and is a master’s degree candidate in the history of design and curatorial studies program at the Parsons and Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum.
The Chazen’s permanent collection of glass and ceramics spans many cultures and time periods. Highlights include American contemporary and studio glass, contemporary figurative ceramics, contemporary ceramics by Japanese artists, more than one hundred pieces of Lalique glass, Chinese export porcelain and Austrian glass from the early twentiethth century.
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