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October 7th, 2010
Senior Curator Joseph J. Rishel is Appointed Samuel H. Kress Professor, National Gallery of Art, 2010-2011 Academic Year

Joseph J. Rishel, the Museum’s Gisela and Dennis Alter Senior Curator of European Painting Before 1900, the John G. Johnson Collection, and the Rodin Museum, has been appointed the Samuel H. Kress Professor at the National Gallery of Art for the 2010-2011 academic year, Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and CEO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art announced today.

With this prestigious appointment, Mr. Rishel becomes the senior resident scholar at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), which is located in the East Building of the National Gallery of Art. CASVA was founded in 1979 to foster study of the production, use, and cultural meaning of art, artifacts, architecture, urbanism, photography, and film, from prehistoric times to the present, through the formation of a community of scholars. A variety of private sources supports the program of fellowships, and the appointments are ratified by the Gallery's Board of Trustees.

“It’s a wonderful appointment and one that is richly deserved,” said Rub. “It honors Joe’s exceptional scholarship and the inspiration he will most certainly offer to young scholars participating in the residence program. The year of study in Washington will also enable Joe to pursue research that will result in new projects for the Philadelphia Museum of Art.”

“Joe Rishel brings to CASVA and the National Gallery of Art a wealth of knowledge and experience gained over a lifetime of museum service,” said Elizabeth Cropper, dean of CASVA. “He is a natural teacher and will enrich all of our lives here at the Gallery, but especially those of the predoctoral fellows under his wing. We are grateful to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for sharing one of its most precious assets, and to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation for making it possible to bring a distinguished senior colleague to the Center for Advanced Study at the National Gallery each year.”

“I am looking forward to this gift of time to really focus on a couple of upcoming projects at the Museum,” said Mr. Rishel. “The National Gallery is a very collegial place where I will have friends to kick ideas around with, like Philadelphia, and I particularly look forward to working with young graduate students on a daily basis.”

The position of Samuel H. Kress Professor, created in 1965, is reserved for a distinguished art historian who, as the senior member of CASVA, pursues scholarly work and counsels predoctoral fellows in residence. In addition to the Samuel H. Kress professor, the CASVA resident community includes an Andrew W. Mellon Professor, an Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor, an A.W. Mellon Lecturer in the Fine Arts, and approximately 20 fellows, including senior and visiting fellows, research associates, postdoctoral curatorial fellows, and predoctoral fellows. The Center also supports about 12 pre-doctoral and visiting senior fellows who are conducting research in the United States and abroad.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest museums in the United States, with a collection of more than 227,000 works of art and more than 200 galleries presenting painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, decorative arts, textiles, and architectural settings from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Its facilities include its landmark Main Building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Perelman Building, located nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Rodin Museum on the 2200 block of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and two 18th-century houses in Fairmount Park, Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove. The Museum offers a wide variety of activities for public audiences, including special exhibitions, programs for children and families, lectures, concerts and films.

For additional information, contact the Marketing and Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art at (215) 684-7860. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call (215) 763-8100, or visit the Museum's website at www.philamuseum.org.

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