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Villa Albertine welcomes six American curators to Paris for its new museum leadership incubator

Group shot of the participants

Left to right: Horace Ballard, Dany Chan, Alexandra Letvin, Tara Contractor, Larisa Grollemond, François Bridey (Villa Albertine program manager) Jessica Bell Brown, and Elizabeth Easton (member of the selection jury)

Over five years the Museums Next Generation program will support 50 curators from France and the US, helping to build international networks and empower future leaders at a critical period in the evolution of museums.

New York, October 10, 2023 — Villa Albertine today announced the French and American curators selected for the first year of its Museums Next Generation program. The professional development and networking initiative takes the form of a two-week exchange that immerses up-and-coming American curators in the world of French Museums, and vice-versa for French curators in the US, with the goal of strengthening transatlantic learning and collaboration between the next generation of museum leaders. 

Yesterday, Horace Ballard, Jessica Bell Brown, Dany Chan, Tara Contractor, Larisa Grollemond, and Alexandra Letvin touched down in Paris for 10 days of behind-the-scenes visits, workshops, and meetings with the leading professionals and institutions across France. The itinerary features over a dozen museums across France, including the Louvre and Centre Pompidou as well as the Musée Picasso, the Musée de Cluny, the Musée Rodin, the Mobilier national and Gobelins workshop, the museum consortium of the City of Marseille, the Château de Fontainebleau, the Louvre-Lens and the Institut National du Patrimoine. The latter, a higher education institution attached to the French Ministry of Culture, which recruits and trains French museums curators, partnered with Villa Albertine in designing the itinerary.  

Earlier this spring eight French curators embarked on a bicoastal exploration of American museums. In Los Angeles the French cohort engaged in a week of meetings, exchanges, and visits with the J. Paul Getty Museum (also a partner on the program), LACMA, the Hammer Museum, The Broad, the Norton Simon Museum, and the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. In May they returned to the States for an equally rich itinerary in New York City—exchanging with the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum, the Frick Collection, the Morgan Library and Museum, and the Hispanic Society Museum and Library—and in Williamstown at the Clark Art Institute, Mass MoCA, and the Williams College Museum of Art. In future years the program will focus on other cities and regions with a rich museum scene, including the Midwest, Texas, and Washington, DC. 

Oriane Beaufils, curator of paintings, decor and graphic arts at the Château de Fontainebleau, shared this about her time in the program: “The Museums Next Generation program was an extremely fruitful experience for me. Apart from the discovery of some of the most important collections in the world, it was a real all-encompassing immersion into the American museums system. We met a lot of interlocutors that were all very enthusiastic about their professional practices. It was also a great occasion to tie bonds and imagine common projects across the Atlantic, I already have two or three in mind at this stage!” 

Group shot at the Getty

Left to right: Camille Broucke, Kenza-Marie Safraoui, Oriane Beaufils, Pierre Stépanoff, Anne-Lise Desmas (J. Paul Getty Museum), Fanny Hamonic, Alexandre Girard-Muscagory, Elikya Kandot, and Alexandre Quoi

Over the next five years, Museums Next Generation will welcome at least 50 emerging French and American culture leaders for this unique professional development opportunity, building a robust infrastructure for transatlantic collaboration in a period of rapid evolution for museums. The program is one of several from Villa Albertine designed specifically for international professional development and exchange in the field of arts and culture. Other programs, which also leverage Villa Albertine’s network of partner institutions in France and the US, support podcasters, screenwriters, urban planners, and more. 

Applications for the Museums Next Generation program were open to professionals currently employed as curators, associate curators, and assistant curators in French and American museums, regardless of their nationality. The final list of participants was selected by juries of experts in the field on museums, including Elizabeth Easton, Co-Founder of the Center for Curatorial Leadership, Anne-Lise Desmas, Senior Curator and Head of the Sculpture and Decorative Arts Department of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles; Olivier Meslay, Director of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown; Charles Personnaz, Director of the Institut national du patrimoine, Paris; and Annabelle Ténèze, Director of the Abattoirs, Musée – Frac Occitanie Toulouse.  

The Museum Next Generation program is made possible, for the next 5 years, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor. 

The American selection 

Horace Ballard, Theodore E. Stebbins Associate Curator of American art at the Harvard Art Museums 

Jessica Bell Brown, Curator and Department Head for Contemporary Art at the Baltimore Museum of Art 

Dany Chan, Associate Curator of Asian Art at the Walters Art Museum 

Tara Contractor, Assistant Curator of European Painting and Sculpture at the Philadelphia Museum of Art 

Larisa Grollemon, Assistant Curator of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at the Getty Museum 

Alexandra Letvin, the inaugural Duane Wilder, Class of 1951, Associate Curator of European Art at the Princeton University Art Museum

The French selection 

Oriane Beaufils, curator of paintings, decor and graphic arts at the Château de Fontainebleau 

Camille Broucke, head of conservation and curator of medieval art at the Musée Dobrée de Nantes and the Grand Patrimoine de Loire-Atlantique 

Alexandre Girard-Muscagory, curator of African, Asian, Oceanic and American art at the Musée de la musique (Philharmonie de Paris) 

Fanny Hamonic, curator for the Early Middle Ages at the Musée d’Archéologie nationale – Domaine national de Saint-Germain-en-Laye 

Elikya Kandot, director of the museums of Boulogne-sur-Mer  

Alexandre Quoi, chief curator of the Musée d’art moderne et contemporain de Saint-Etienne 

Kenza-Marie Safraoui, curator of 19th- and 20th-century art at the Palais des Ducs de Lorraine – Musée lorrain de Nancy, and head of the division of visitor services and communication of Nancy-Musées 

Pierre Stépanoff, former curator of paintings and sculptures from the Renaissance to the mid-19th century at the Musée Fabre de Montpellier, and since June the new Director of the Musée de Picardie d’Amiens.  

In partnership with

Albertine Foundation

Previously known as FACE Foundation, Albertine Foundation is an American nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting French-American relations through innovative cultural and educational projects. In close partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States and its arts institution Villa Albertine, Albertine Foundation promotes artistic, literary, and educational exchange and collaboration between creative professionals from both countries thanks to corporate, foundation, and individual support.

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