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Curatorial, Conservation, and Registration

Our curators



Emily Banas joined the RISD Museum in November 2015 as the curatorial assistant in the Decorative Arts and Design Department. She has broad interests in American and European decorative arts, design, and craft of the 20th and 21st centuries, particularly in furniture, ceramics, and glass of the postwar era.

Her most recent positions include Windgate Museum Intern at the Milwaukee Art Museum (2015) and Lunder Curatorial Intern at the Clark Art Institute (2014). Banas holds an MA in art and museum studies, with a concentration in decorative arts and design, from Georgetown University, and an MA in decorative arts, design history, and material culture from the Bard Graduate Center.



As curator of ancient art, Gina Borromeo oversees the Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman collections at the RISD Museum. Her projects include collection rotations such as Rethinking the Romans and Made for Eternity, as well as the recent reinstallations of the Greek, Etruscan, and Roman galleries (2010) and the Egyptian collection (2014). She has always been intrigued by objects and monuments made of marble and other stones. While her work has focused primarily on the ancient contexts of Greek and Roman sculpture, recently she has been studying the materials and techniques employed by artists in antiquity. She enjoys teaching from the Museum’s collection of ancient art.

Borromeo was a Fulbright Scholar in Rome (1990–1991) and a Samuel H. Kress Dissertation Fellow (1991–1992). She earned her MA and PhD degrees in history of art and architecture from Brown University. She has had significant archaeological experience, having excavated in various sites in Greece, Israel, Italy, and Turkey. Before coming to RISD, she worked in the Ancient Art and Education departments at the Art Institute of Chicago. She has served on the Friends Board of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology at Brown University. She is currently on the Museums and Exhibitions Committee of Archaeological Institute of America and on the Advisory Committee of the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown University.




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Laurie Anne Brewer is the associate curator in the Costume and Textiles Department. Her recent exhibitions include Golden Glamour: The Edith Stuyvesant Gerry Collection and Indische Style: Batiks for the International Market (both 2015). Previous exhibitions at the RISD Museum include Artist/Rebel/Dandy: Men of Fashion (2013, with Kate Irvin), Queen of the Insects: The Art of the Butterfly (2009–2010), and Asian Textiles and the Grammar of Ornament: Design in the Victorian Age (2008). Brewer has also served as a lecturer in RISD’s Department of the History of Art and Visual Culture, teaching courses on the history of Western textiles and world textiles. Prior to her post at the RISD Museum, she worked in the Department of Textiles at the Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology (MFIT).

Brewer holds a BA in human ecology from the College of the Atlantic and an MA in museum studies (costume and textiles) from the State University of New York, Fashion Institute of Technology. Her research often explores the intersections of nature and art, focusing on the ecology of fashion from the 19th century to the present day.


A. Will Brown joined the RISD Museum in January 2014 as the curatorial assistant in the Contemporary Art Department. He develops exhibitions and public programs and assists in caring for the contemporary art collection and managing the internal functions of the department. Brown’s recent exhibitions include Kudzanai Chiurai: Iyeza (2015–2016), Raqs Media Collective: A Myriad Marginalia (2015), and Steffani Jemison: Maniac Chase, Escaped Lunatic, and Personal (2015).

Prior to his work at the RISD Museum, Brown was located in California’s Bay Area, where he held a joint curatorial fellowship at the Kadist Art Foundation and the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco. He is currently working on an ongoing public art and history initiative called Monument Lab, which is located in Philadelphia. Brown has held positions at the Aspen Art Museum, Triple Base Gallery, and Crown Point Press. He is a regular contributor to a number of contemporary art publications, including the Daily Serving, Art Practical, Hyperallergic, and Studio International. Brown holds a BA in art history and psychology from Goucher College and an MA in curatorial practice from the California College of the Arts.




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Jan Howard, chief curator and the Houghton P. Metcalf Jr. Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, oversees a collection of some 30,000 works on paper spanning the 15th century to the present. Her research is primarily focused on modern and contemporary art, and her recent exhibitions and publications include Drawing Ambience: Alvin Boyarsky and the Architectural Association (2014), America in View: Landscape Photography 1865 to Now (2012), Made in the UK: Contemporary Art from the Richard Brown Baker Collection (2011), and Pat Steir: Drawing Out of Line (2010).

Howard holds an MA in art history from the University of Kansas. Prior to her position at RISD, she was a curator from 1985 to 2000 in the Department of Prints, Drawings and Photographs at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Her training includes an NEA internship at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and curatorial positions at the Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas.




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Kate Irvin is curator and head of the Department of Costume and Textiles at the RISD Museum, where she has worked since 2004. Her recent exhibitions and projects at the Museum include All of Everything: Todd Oldham Fashion (2016); Swagged and Poufed: The Upholstered Body in the Late 19th Century and Today (2016); Ensnared in Flowers, I Fall on Grass (2014–2015); Artist/Rebel/Dandy: Men of Fashion (2013); From the Land of the Immortals: Chinese Taoist Robes and Textiles (2012); Cocktail Culture: Ritual and Invention in American Fashion, 1920–1980 (2011, with Joanne Ingersoll and Laurie Brewer); Sartorial Sanctuary: Clothing and Tradition in the Islamic World (2009); and Designing Traditions Biennial: Student Explorations in the Asian Textile Collection (with Laurie Brewer). She is currently working on a multi-disciplinary exhibition entitled Repair: Thrift to Resistance, scheduled for the fall of 2018.

Irvin earned a dual BA in architectural history and literature and society from Brown University, and she also holds an MS in the history of costume and textiles from the University of Rhode Island.


Amber Lopez joined the RISD Museum in January 2016 as the Nancy Prophet Fellow. Lopez graduated magna cum laude from Rhode Island College (RIC) in 2015 with a BA in art history and Africana studies; her studies focused on the rise of multiculturalism and community in museum practices and the significance of art by and reflecting people of African descent, from ancient depictions to contemporary artists. From 2010 to 2015, Lopez worked as a gallery specialist at RIC’s Edward Mitchell Bannister Gallery, where she assisted in the installation, storage, and maintenance of artworks and in gallery programming. She co-curated and archived the gallery’s collection, including a body of work by Andy Warhol.


Dominic Molon is the Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art at the RISD Museum. He previously served as the chief curator at the Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) St. Louis and as curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago. He has organized numerous exhibitions, including solo presentations of Martin Boyce (2015) at the RISD Museum; Leslie Hewitt, Christodoulos Panayiotou, and David Noonan at CAM St. Louis; and Susan Philipsz, Liam Gillick, Wolfgang Tillmans, Gillian Wearing, Tobias Rehberger, Steve McQueen, and Jack Pierson—as well as the group shows Production Site: The Artist’s Studio Inside-Out and Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967—at MCA. Molon has contributed to monographs on Karin Mamma Anderson, Hernan Bas, Elmgreen/Dragset, Karen Kilimnik, Sean Landers, Muntean/Rosenblum, Arlene Shechet, and Padraig Timoney, as well as the publications Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting (2002), Vitamin D: New Perspectives in Drawing (2005), Vitamin PH: New Perspectives in Photography (2006), and Frequency (2006). He has also written for the periodicals ArtReview, Mousse, Tate Etc., and Whitewall.


Maureen C. O’Brien, curator of the Paintings and Drawings Department, oversees the RISD Museum’s collections of Western painting and sculpture, including European art from the 12th to the 20th centuries and North American and Latin American art to 1960. Her areas of special interest include 19th-century French and American painting and sculpture. She is responsible for the presentation and interpretation of permanent-collection galleries of French Impressionist, medieval, Renaissance, and later European painting and sculpture, and she collaborates on the content of the Museum’s 20th-century galleries. O’Brien’s recent work includes a reassessment and reinstallation of the Museum’s historical American collections. She is a contributing author to the Museum’s handbook and collections catalogues, including Selection VII: American Paintings from the Museum’s Collection, ca. 1800–1930 and European Painting and Sculpture, ca. 1770–1937.

O’Brien holds an MA in the history of art from the Villa Schifanoia Graduate School of Fine Art (Florence, Italy) and a PhD (ABD) in the history of art from Brown University.




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Emily J. Peters, associate curator in the Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, first joined the RISD Museum as an assistant curator in 2005. Her research is primarily focused on European prints and drawings of the Early Modern period, and her recent exhibitions and publications include The Festive City (2012); Jacques Callot and the Baroque Print (2011), and The Brilliant Line: Following the Early Modern Engraver, 1480–1650 (2010). Peters’s research has also been published in academic journals including Print Quarterly (2015) and Renaissance Quarterly (2006).

Peters holds an MA/PhD in art history from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She served as a Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2004–2005) and a Fulbright Scholar in Antwerp, Belgium (2003–2004).


Britany Salsbury joined the RISD Museum in 2015 as the Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow in the Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs. Her research focuses on 19th-century European works on paper, specifically printmaking in fin-de-siècle France.

Salsbury previously held research and fellowship positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Morgan Library & Museum, New York, and she has taught at the City University of New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the graduate program at Christie’s Education, New York. She earned a BA in art history and English from Case Western Reserve University; an MA in art history, theory, and criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and an MPhil and PhD in art history from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her dissertation research was supported by funding from the Getty Research Institute and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


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Elizabeth A. Williams joined the RISD Museum in 2013. As the curator of the Decorative Arts and Design Department, she is responsible for the interpretation, development, and care of the Museum’s collection of American and European decorative arts and design, with emphasis on exhibitions, publications, and participation in Museum teaching and community engagement. Previously, she served as assistant curator of decorative arts and design at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. She holds a PhD in art history from the Kress Foundation Department of Art History at the University of Kansas; an MA in art history from the University of Missouri, Kansas City; and a BS degree in architectural studies from the University of Missouri.

At the RISD Museum, Williams has co-curated Making It in America (2013–2014, with Maureen C. O’Brien) and collaborated on Arlene Shechet: Meissen Recast (2014, with Judith Tannenbaum); reinstalled the glass, porcelain and ceramics galleries; and is currently developing an exhibition on the Gorham Manufacturing Company. At LACMA, she curated the exhibition Daily Pleasures: French Ceramics from the MaryLou Boone Collection and served as the editor of and contributing author to the catalogue. Williams also curated The Gilbert Collection at LACMA and authored the accompanying book. She is a board member of the American Ceramic Circle, for which she serves as the Grants and Scholarship chair, and a member of the AAMC Career Support Committee.