Reynolda House Museum of American Art has named Elizabeth Chew as the museum’s Betsy Main Babcock Director of the Curatorial and Education Division.
Chew comes to Reynolda House from Monticello, the historic Virginia estate of Thomas Jefferson, where she serves as curator. She will begin her new position at Reynolda House Feb. 1.
In her new position, Chew will provide direction and leadership for the development of interpretation, programming, education and research of the museum’s collections and exhibitions. The collections of Reynolda House are comprised of the nationally acclaimed American art collection; the historic house collection, which includes decorative arts and costumes; and the archives.
Reynolda House Executive Director Allison Perkins said the new senior level position is designed to advance the capacity of Reynolda House to serve local and national audiences. Chew, who holds a Ph.D. in the history of art, will lead the museum’s research and program development plans to honor the centennial of historic Reynolda House and the 50th anniversary of the museum of American art in 2017.
“The story of Reynolda is much more than a local or regional story; Reynolda is an American story,” Chew says. “I don’t see Reynolda as an art museum in a historic house – or as a historic house with an art museum. It is one seamless and unique experience, and I want to help push those identities closer together.”
Chew was recently featured on CBS Sunday Morning in a segment focused on the dichotomy of Thomas Jefferson as both champion of liberty and a slaveholder.