CHRISTA CLARKE



Senior Curator, Arts of Africa and the Americas, and Curator, Arts of Africa
Newark Museum, 49 Washington St., Newark, NJ 07102
(973)596-6663 (973)596-6666-fax cjclarke@newarkmuseum.org

EDUCATION:
1998 Doctor of Philosophy, African Art History, University of Maryland
Dissertation: “Defining Taste; Albert Barnes and the Promotion of African Art in
the United States during the 1920s,” directed by Dr. Ekpo Eyo and Dr. Roy Sieber
1990 Master of Arts, African Art History (with distinction), University of Maryland
Thesis: “Styles and Symbolism of the Nnam Carved Monoliths of Cross River State, Nigeria,”
directed by Dr. Ekpo Eyo
1987 Bachelor of Arts, Art History and English, University of Virginia

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE (select):
2008 – pres. Senior Curator, Arts of Africa and the Americas/Curator, Arts of Africa, Newark Museum, NJ
2002 – 2008 Curator, Africa, Americas and the Pacific, Newark Museum, NJ
2002 – 2003 Advisor, Collections Assessment Project, Barnes Foundation, Merion, PA
1999 - 2002 Curator of African Art, Neuberger Museum of Art, and Adjunct Professor,
Art Department, SUNY-Purchase, NY
1998 Visiting Professor, Dept. of Art History, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
1994-1997 Visiting Lecturer, Art Department, George Washington University, Washington DC
1994 Visiting Lecturer, Academic Studies, Corcoran School of Art, Washington DC
1991 Curatorial Assistant, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

FELLOWSHIPS/GRANTS/AWARDS:
2011 National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant ($500,000 awarded
for renovation/expansion of African art galleries & endowment at Newark Museum)
2010 Acadia Summer Arts Program (“Kamp Kippy”), Bar Harbor, ME
2009 Mellon Museum Fellow, Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA
2008 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Planning Grant ($40,000 awarded
for planning of reinstallation of African art galleries at Newark Museum)
2001 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Creativity Grant ($20,000 for exhibition
and related symposium at Neuberger Museum of Art, SUNY - Purchase)
1998-99 Whitney Post-Doctoral Fellow, Metropolitan Museum of Art
(Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas)
1996-97 Samuel H. Kress Dissertation Fellowship
1995-96, 93-94 Museum Fellow, Curatorial Dept., National Museum of African Art

PUBLICATIONS (select):
2010 Representing Africa in American Art Museums: A Century of Collecting and Display.
Co-edited with Kathleen Bickford Berzock. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
2009 Newark Museum: Selected Works (overview, Arts of Africa and 20 entries). London: Scala.
2007 “Uche Okeke and Chinua Achebe: Artist and Author in Conversation,”
Critical Interventions, Number 1, July 2007.
2006 The Art of Africa: A Resource for Educators. New York:
Metropolitan Museum in association with Yale University Press.
2003 “Defining African Art: Primitive Negro Sculpture and the Aesthetic Philosophy of
Albert Barnes,” African Arts, Spring 2003.
2003 “From Theory to Practice: Exhibiting African Art in the 21st Century,” Art and Its Publics:
Museum Studies at the Millenium, Andrew McClellan, ed. Oxford: Blackwell.
2001 A Personal Journey: Central African Art from the Lawrence Gussman Collection
(lead author). Purchase, NY: Neuberger Museum of Art.
1998 “African Art and the Modernist Eye: Earl Horter and Collecting of African Art in the United
States,” Mad for Modernism: Earl Horter and his Collection. Philadelphia Museum of Art.
1996 “John Graham and the Crowninshield Collection of African Art," Winterthur Portfolio 30/1.

EXHIBITIONS (select):
2011 The Global Art of Patchwork: Africa, America, Asia (co-curated with Ulysses Dietz and
Katherine Paul), Newark Museum
2009 Party Time: Re-Imagine America, a Centennial Commission by Yinka Shonibare MBE,
Newark Museum
Unbounded: New Art for a New Century (co-curated with Ulysses Dietz, Katherine Paul,
and Beth Venn). Newark Museum.
2008 Embodying the Sacred in Yoruba Art: featuring the Bernard and Patricia Wagner Collection
(co-curated with Carol Thompson). High Museum of Art and Newark Museum.
Glass Beads of Ghana (co-curated with Suzanne Gott). Newark Museum
2006 Expanding Africa: New Art, New Directions. Newark Museum.
Another Modernity: Works on Paper by Uche Okeke. Newark Museum. Additional venue:
Boston University Art Gallery.
2005 Power Dressing: Men’s Fashion and Prestige in Africa. Newark Museum. Additional venues:
Parrish Art Museum, NY; Museum of International Folk Art, NM; and Brooks Museum of
Art, TN.
2004 Earthen Elegance: African Ceramic Vessels. Newark Museum.
2003 My Ethiopia: Recent Paintings by Wosene Worke Kosrof. Neuberger Museum of Art and
Newark Museum.
2002 African Shields: Art, Power, and Identity. Neuberger Museum of Art. Additional venues:
Newark Museum and the Birmingham Museum of Art.
2001 A Personal Journey: Central African Art from the Lawrence Gussman Collection. Neuberger
Museum of Art. Additional venues: Philbrook Museum, OK and National Museum
of African Art, DC.

CONFERENCES AND SYMPOSIA (select):
2011 “Unbounded: Contemporary Arts of Africa in Global Dialogue,” Museum Day, 15th Arts
Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA) Symposium on African Art, UCLA
2011 “Collecting Africa: American Explorer Delia Akeley and the Art of Daily Life,” 15th Arts
Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA) Symposium on African Art, UCLA
2010 Invited speaker, “Ways of Showing/Ways of Knowing: African/Diaspora Arts in a Museum,”
University of Wisconsin, Madison
2010 “Autobiography in the Work of Lalla Essaydi and Senzeni Marasela,” David C. Driskell
Center Symposium, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
2008 Invited speaker, Clark/Mellon Workshop on Contemporary African Art, Clark Art Institute,
Williamstown, MA
2007 “Making African Art Matter: Power Dressing at the Newark Museum,” American Association
of Museums Annual Conference, Chicago
2007 Co-chair and presenter, “Contemporary Practices in Traditional Spaces: Creating
or Challenging the Canon,” 14th Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA)
Symposium on African Art, Gainesville, FL
2007 Co-chair and presenter, “African Art and Visual Culture: Pedagogical Perspectives
from Classroom to Museum,” College Art Association Annual Conference, NY.
2004 “Contemporary Art and African Identity: A Curator’s Perspective,” 13th Arts Council of
the African Studies Association (ACASA) Symposium on African Art, Boston, MA.
2004 Co-chair, “Women, Art and Leadership in Africa,” College Art Association Annual
Conference, Seattle, WA
2002 “Exhibiting Permanent Collections of African Art: Strategies and Lessons Learned,” African
Studies Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC
2002 “The Barnes Foundation and African Sculpture: Uncovering a Photographic Legacy,”
College Art Association Annual Conference, Philadelphia.
2001 Co-chair, “Reevaluating the Canon: African Art Studies in Historical Perspective,” 12th
Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA) Triennial Symposium on African
Art, St. Thomas, USVI
1996 “African Art at the Barnes Foundation: The Triumph of l’Art Nègre,” College Art Association
Annual Conference, Boston, MA
1995 “The `Aesthetic Argumentation’ of African Sculpture: John Graham and the Crown in shield
Collection,” Tenth Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA)
Triennial Symposium on African Art, New York, NY

FIELD EXPERIENCE:
2007 Mali. Attended Photography Biennale in Bamako, Mali.
2005 Ghana. Textile study tour in southern Ghana sponsored by Textile Society of America.
1990 Nigeria. Field research related to master’s thesis in Ikom, Cross River State.
SERVICE (select):
2011-2014 Museum Committee, College Art Association (CAA)
2009-2011 Co-chair and Chair, Membership Committee, Association of Art Museum Curators
2002-pres. Consulting Editor, African Arts (quarterly journal published by UCLA)
2005-08 Board Member, Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA)
2005-08 Board Member and Member of Exhibition Review Panel, Visual Arts Center of NJ
2003-07 Committee on Professional Standards, Association of Art Museum Curators
2002-07 Exhibition Reviews Editor (North America), African Arts (published by UCLA)

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS:
Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA)
ArtTable (New York chapter)
Association of Art Museum Curators
College Art Association




Art and Audience: Engaging Immigrant Communities at the Newark Museum



Founded in 1909, at the height of the European immigration into the United States, the Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey has a long history of engaging the ethnically diverse population of the city it serves. This paper will look at the museum’s strategies for engaging immigrant groups over the course of a century, beginning with historical antecedents then focusing on two recent exhibitions targeting specific ethnic communities. It will conclude by comparing the museum’s efforts then and now, offering some observations on their differing motivations and goals as well as the challenges and opportunities presented.