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      Press Release

      PEM strengthens curatorial team with key hires

      Released August 14, 2023

      SALEM, MA — The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) is pleased to announce the appointment of three exceptional individuals to its curatorial team. These hires reflect PEM's ongoing commitment to sharing its superlative collections of art and culture in exciting and unexpected ways. PEM warmly welcomes these talented curators and looks forward to the contributions they will make in advancing the museum's mission and its efforts to engage with broad and inclusive audiences and partners.

      “The simultaneous hiring of two curators focused on American art and culture signals the museum’s focus on fresh thinking about the many and evolving dimensions of the American experience,” said Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, PEM’s Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Executive Director and CEO. “Their collaboration with PEM’s curators, with specialties in fashion, photography, contemporary, maritime, Native American, and Asian art, will create opportunities for multidisciplinary research and interpretation across exhibitions, collection growth, programming, and publishing.”

      Dr. R. Ruthie Dibble, The Robert N. Shapiro Curator of American Decorative

      Dr. R. Ruthie Dibble, The Robert N. Shapiro Curator of American Decorative

      Dr. R. Ruthie Dibble has been appointed as PEM’s first Robert N. Shapiro Curator of American Decorative Art, a position recently endowed by longtime PEM supporter, former Board President, and Trustee Emeritus, Robert N. Shapiro. Most recently serving as Curator at The Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Dr. Dibble specializes in American and British decorative arts from the eighteenth century to the present. Her curatorial work expands the field of American decorative arts by examining the global circulation of objects, the relationship between craft and identity, and the role of craftspeople as agents of social change. Emphasizing collaboration and community connection, Dr. Dibble's curatorial projects empower diverse perspectives and audiences.

      Dr. Dibble received a Ph.D. and M. Phil in the History of Art from Yale University, an M.A. in Art History from Williams College, and a B.A. in Art History from Hamilton College. At PEM, Dr. Dibble will oversee one of the country’s preeminent American decorative arts collections, featuring exceptional holdings of furniture, furnishings, and works of material culture. She will also develop an American decorative art gallery and exhibition roster, as well as help develop new interpretative strategies for PEM’s historic houses.

      Dr. Jeffrey Richmond-Moll, The George Putnam Curator of American Art

      Dr. Jeffrey Richmond-Moll joins PEM as its George Putnam Curator of American Art, where he will oversee an expansive collection that encompasses over four centuries of American art, culture, and creative expression.

      Dr. Jeffrey Richmond-Moll, The George Putnam Curator of American Art

      Most recently serving as Curator of American Art at the Georgia Museum of Art, on the campus of the University of Georgia, Dr. Richmond-Moll has a wide range of expertise in American art from the colonial era to the late twentieth century. He pursues interdisciplinary, experimental curatorial strategies to tell compelling stories about our nation’s past, present, and future. His highly collaborative practice seeks to forge connections and unlock new ideas about American art and identity.

      Dr. Richmond-Moll received a Ph.D. and M.A. in Art History from the University of Delaware and an A.B. in Art and Archaeology from Princeton University. He is the former Co-Chair of the Association of Historians of American Art.

      Dr. Jiyeon Kim, Curator of Korean Art
      Dr. Jiyeon Kim, Curator of Korean Art

      Dr. Jiyeon Kim recently assumed the role of Curator of Korean Art, a term position generously funded by the National Museum of Korea. In this role, Dr. Kim will develop PEM’s new Korean art gallery, set to open in 2025.

      Dr. Kim brings a wealth of knowledge and deep experience to this position, from her academic credentials earned at universities in Seoul, Indiana, New York, and Los Angeles, to her teaching career in Korea and the U.S., including her most recent position at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts. Her previous experience as a project specialist for PEM's Korean collection amplifies the passion, expertise, and collaborative spirit that she brings to creating a gallery experience that will showcase the depth and range of this significant collection, which is recognized as one of the earliest Korean art collections in the United States.

      Dr. Kim earned her doctorate in Korean art history from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her recent research topics include social status and artistic identity, the collecting history of Asian art in Boston area museums, and gardens as social space. Dr. Kim is adept at fostering connections and nurturing engagement with the Korean community in greater Boston and across New England.

      Photos by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      Over the last 20 years, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) has distinguished itself as one of the fastest-growing art museums in North America. Founded in 1799, it is also the country’s oldest continuously operating museum. At its heart is a mission to enrich and transform people's lives by broadening their perspectives, attitudes and knowledge of themselves and the wider world. PEM celebrates outstanding artistic and cultural creativity through exhibitions, programming and special events that emphasize cross-cultural connections, integrate past and present and underscore the vital importance of creative expression. The museum's collection is among the finest of its kind, including superlative works from around the globe and across time — American art and architecture, Asian and Asian export art, maritime, Native American, Oceanic, and African art, fashion and textiles and photography, as well as one of the nation’s most important museum-based collections of rare books and manuscripts. PEM's campus offers a varied and unique visitor experience with hands-on creativity zones, interactive opportunities and performance spaces. Twenty-two noted historic structures grace PEM’s campus, including Yin Yu Tang, a 200-year-old Chinese home that is the only example of Chinese domestic architecture in the United States. HOURS: Open Thursday–Monday, 10 am–5 pm. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. ADMISSION: Adults $20; seniors $18; students $12. Members, youth 16 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission. INFO: Call 866-745-1876 or visit

      Whitney Van Dyke | Director of Marketing & Communications | | 617-259-6722