RISD Museum News: New staff appointments and grants announced

PROVIDENCE, RI, October 24, 2018—Over the past several months the RISD Museum welcomed several new staff members including an assistant curator and several fellows. Additionally, the Museum shares news of two major grant awards.

Wai Yee Chiong, Assistant Curator of Asian and Islamic Art

Wai Yee will join the RISD Museum in November, 2018. She recently served as the Cunningham Curatorial Fellow of Japanese Art at Harvard University.  She previously held curatorial, research, and teaching positions at Princeton University (where she received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Art History), the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art in London. Wai Yee also received an M.A. in History of Art and Archaeology from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and a B.A. in Economics and Spanish from Middlebury College.

Tayana Fincher, Nancy Prophet Fellow

Tayana began her two-year fellowship with the RISD Museum in August. She graduated from Williams College in June 2017 with a B.A. in Art History and History. Most recently, she was a Curatorial Intern at the Dallas Museum of Art. Tayana is working with the Costume and Textiles collection and Adult and Academic Programs. Named in honor of the Nancy Prophet, an artist of Narragansett and African heritage and RISD's first graduate of color in 1918, this fellowship program provides significant professional-practice opportunities to high-achieving college and graduate school alumni up to three years post-graduation. 

Kimia Rahnavardi, Henry Luce Foundation Curatorial Fellow

Kimia joined the Decorative Arts and Design Department in August and her one-year fellowship is funded by a grant from the Luce Foundation related to the upcoming exhibition Gorham Silver: Designing Brilliance 1850-1970. Kimia graduated from Manhattanville College in 2018 with a B.A. in Studio Art. She is currently a first-year graduate student in the department of Interior Architecture at RISD.

Carson Evans, Digital Media Fellow

Carson began her fellowship in September and is a recent graduate of RISD's Graphic Design MFA program, where she focused her studies on video storytelling. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Carson received an interdisciplinary BA in Humanities from Yale University. The Digital Media fellowship is a two-year appointed position for artists, designers, or film-makers embarking on careers in the arts and seeking an opportunity to work in a professional studio environment.

Henry Luce Foundation Grant

The Henry Luce Foundation has awarded the RISD Museum a grant of $310,000 to support the planning and implementation of the Museum's 2019 exhibition Gorham Silver: Designing Brilliance 1850-1970, along with its corresponding programming, the exhibition publication, and the appointment of the Henry Luce Foundation Curatorial Fellow, to assist the Decorative Arts and Design Department in these efforts.

Established in 1936, the Henry Luce Foundation seeks to bring important ideas to the center of American life, strengthen international understanding, and foster innovation and leadership in academic, policy, religious and art communities. A leading arts funder in the United States, the Foundation’s American Art Program was created in 1982 to support museums, arts organizations, and universities in their efforts to advance the understanding and experience of American and Native American visual arts through research, exhibitions, publications, and collection projects.

Getty Foundation Grant

The Getty Foundation’s Paper Project initiative has awarded the RISD Museum $100,000 to support an exhibition and accompanying catalogue of European master drawings slotted to open in Fall 2021.

The Getty Foundation (initially called the Getty Grant Program) was established in 1984 in the belief that philanthropy is a key ingredient in carrying out the mission of the J. Paul Getty Trust. The Getty Trust is an international cultural organization that includes the Getty Conservation Institute, Getty Foundation, Getty Research Institute, and J. Paul Getty Museum. 

About the RISD Museum

Established in 1877 as part of a vibrant creative community, the RISD Museum stewards works of art representing diverse cultures from ancient times to the present. We interpret our collection with the focus on the maker and we deeply engage with art and artists, presenting ideas and perspectives that can be inspiring and complex. We aspire to create an accessible and inclusive environment that builds meaningful relationships across all communities. For more information: 401-454-6500 or risdmuseum.org.