Skip to main content

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Announces New Assistant Curator

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces the appointment of Jennifer Padgett as assistant curator.

Padgett accepts the assistant curator position following previous roles at Crystal Bridges including research assistant in the curatorial department and a 2016 Tyson Scholar fellowship. As a research assistant, she authored entries for a forthcoming publication of collection highlights and contributed label text and digital interpretation content for the reinstallation of the Early American Galleries, among other projects.

As assistant curator, Padgett will contribute to exhibition planning, publications, research, and growth of the collection, with a particular focus on American art from the 1900s through 1960s. She will help develop focus exhibitions and plan installations in the permanent collection galleries, including a project to reinstall the Modern Art Galleries this summer.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jen to our team in this new capacity,” said Crystal Bridges Curator, Mindy Besaw. “Jen’s experience coupled with her work at Crystal Bridges uniquely positions her to create new connections and present a broad scope of American art.”

“I am excited to continue pursuing my passion for sharing American art at Crystal Bridges,” said Padgett. “My academic focus on artists making art more approachable aligns with the museum’s mission of access.  I look forward to furthering my research in this area and continuing to help make modern American art engaging for all our visitors.”

Padgett is a Ph.D. candidate at Washington University in St. Louis, with a dissertation titled, “Made for ‘Modern Surroundings’: Intersections of Fine Art, Decorative Arts, and Design in America, 1920-1945.” Her dissertation explores how modern artists worked across boundaries of fine art and design to champion modern art’s relevance to everyday life in the early twentieth century. She has a master of arts from Washington University in St. Louis and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame. She has held various positions and fellowships at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Amon Carter Museum of American Art and has contributed to several publications, including the forthcoming essay “New Rugs by American Artists: Modernism, Abstraction, and Rug Design at MoMA.”

“I look forward to seeing how Jen’s fresh perspective and vision for our Modern art collection will unfold over the coming years. She will be a great asset to our team,” said Besaw.