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The Milwaukee Art Museum named Monica Obniski as the next Demmer curator of 20th and 21st century design.

MAM hires Obniski as new curator of 20th and 21st century design

This morning, the Milwaukee Art Museum announced the appointment of Monica Obniski as the museum's next Demmer curator of 20th and 21st century design.

Obniski has served at the Art Institute of Chicago since 2007, beginning as a research associate and exhibition coordinator before moving up to her current position, Ann S. and Samuel M. Mencoff assistant curator of American decorative arts, in 2011. During her time at the institute, she co-organized and co-authored 2009's "Apostles of Beauty: Arts of Crafts from Britain to Chicago," co-authored 2012's "For Kith and Kin: The Folk Art Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago" and oversaw multiple installations.

Before her tenure at the Art Institute of Chicago, Obniski served as a research assistant in the American decorative arts department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She also taught at several universities, including Parsons The New School for Design, Columbia College and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

In addition to a BA in art history from Loyola University Chicago and an MA in the history of decorative arts and design from the Bard Graduate Center in New York, Obniski is currently pursuing her PhD at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her dissertation is titled "Accumulating Things: Folk Art and Modern Design in the Postwar American Projects of Alexander H. Girard."

"As the Demmer Curator of 20th and 21st Century Design, Monica will be in charge of a growing collection of modern design distinguished by holdings of Prairie School, American Art Deco, Machine Age Industrial Design, and Mid-Century Modern," said Brady Roberts, chief curator for the Milwaukee Art Museum. "She will lead the process for installing the design collection in the newly renovated galleries, which will open in late 2015."

"I am honored to be chosen as the next Demmer Curator at the Milwaukee Art Museum," Obniski said. "The museum's outstanding collection and dedicated team make it the perfect home for me. I look forward to delving deeper into the trove of design objects at the museum."

Obniski will join the Milwaukee Art Museum staff in January 2015.


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