Austen Barron Bailly, The George Putnam Curator of American Art
Austen joined PEM in 2013, following 11 years as an American art curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). She launched PEM's new American art program as lead curator for American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood, organized by PEM in collaboration with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. She also edited and contributed to the accompanying publication. American Epics garnered a 2015 award for excellence from the Association of Art Museum Curators.
Austen co-curated American Impressionist: Childe Hassam and the Isles of Shoals with the North Carolina Museum of Art and co-edited and contributed to the accompanying catalogue. Next up is Georgia O'Keeffe: Art, Image, Style, which Austen is coordinating for PEM, and beginning to plan for the new installations of PEM's American art collections. Austen is also collaboratively developing two new exhibitions: Jacob Lawrence and the Democratic Spirit: the Struggle Series, with Elizabeth Hutton Turner, and In American Waters, in which she and PEM curator Daniel Finamore will reevaluate the importance of the sea to American painters.
Austen received her B.A. from Vassar College, her M.A. from the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is Chair of the Association of Historians of American Art, and a member of the Public Art Commission for the City of Salem. Follow @austenbailly on Instagram.