December 12, 2023 The Carter Names Michaela Haffner Assistant Curator of Paintings, Sculpture, and Works on Paper
Fort Worth, TX, December 12, 2023—The Amon Carter Museum of American Art (the Carter) today announced the appointment of Michaela Haffner as the Museum’s Assistant Curator of Paintings, Sculpture, and Works on Paper. Haffner, who is currently a PhD candidate in the History of Art at Yale University, will assume her role beginning January 22, 2024. As Assistant Curator of Paintings, Sculpture, and Works on Paper, Haffner will leverage her experience and deep knowledge of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American art and visual culture to work with the Carter’s extensive collection and realize projects that further the Carter’s mission—to tell the ongoing story of American creativity across artistic traditions, mediums, and time periods. In her new role, Haffner, who previously served as a Curatorial Assistant at the Carter, will report to the Director of Collections and Exhibitions and work alongside the Museum’s curators and the exhibitions and collections staff to bring this vision to life and foreground unexplored perspectives and connections.
“The Carter is immensely proud of its curatorial staff and the dynamic program and scholarship it puts forth,” said Andrew J. Walker, Executive Director. “As stewards of a robust and growing American art collection and steadfast partners to living artists, our curators are grounded in deep knowledge and a belief in the power of this work—traits that Michaela exemplifies. We look forward to benefitting from her passion for American art, commitment to scholarship, and zest for our mission.”
“I am honored to be joining the Carter, the institution where I first began my career as a Curatorial Assistant,” said Haffner. “Knowing the breadth of the Museum’s collection, as well as its role in expressing and shaping American creativity, I am thrilled to take on this role and to explore painting, sculpture, and works on paper as vehicles for the varied and evolving histories told by American artists. I’m excited to be joining the Carter team in the new year and look forward to working alongside the curatorial staff and the community to bring these stories to the Museum’s audiences.”
Haffner is currently pursuing a PhD in the History of Art at Yale University, where her studies center around nineteenth- and twentieth-century art in the United States. Her dissertation examines the visual origins of “wellness” culture in the nineteenth century, particularly the ways in which artists represented nature and landscape as therapeutic, looking closely at several works from the Carter’s collection, including those by Laura Gilpin, John Frederick Kensett, and William J. McCloskey. Haffner has given several public lectures on the topic, including Open Air: Sanitarium Photographs and the White Settlement of the American West, 1900–1920 at the 2022 Western History Association Conference and Visualizing Air: The Climatic Cure and the Search for Health at the Turn of the Century, which she delivered at the Southeastern College Art Conference in 2022.
In her previous role at the Carter, Haffner served as her team’s sole junior staff member and curated five exhibitions, including Hedda Sterne: Printed Variations (2018) and Between the Lines: Gego as Printmaker (2017), which highlighted the lesser-known print practices of artists primarily known for sculpture and painting. She also curated Caught on Paper (2017), which explored the theme of “the hunt” by bringing together popular ephemera like postcards and lithographs from Currier & Ives ¬with traditional nineteenth-century works from the likes of Winslow Homer, Frederic Remington, and John James Audubon, allowing visitors to consider today’s visual culture alongside historical masterworks. She has also advanced the Museum’s scholarship, authoring essays for two exhibition catalogues—A New American Sculpture (2017) and The Perilous Texas Adventures of Mark Dion (2017)—and writing the in-gallery catalogue for Fluid Expressions: The Prints of Helen Frankenthaler (2017).
In addition to her previous tenure at the Carter, Haffner has held positions at institutions across the country, including The Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Davis Museum & Cultural Center in Wellesley, Massachusetts; and Childs Gallery in Boston. She has worked with several Texas institutions, including the San Antonio Museum of Art, the McNay Art Museum, and the Briscoe Western Art Museum. Additionally, Haffner has worked internationally, serving as the Liliane Pingoud Soriano Curatorial Fellow within the Département des Arts graphiques at the Musée du Louvre in Paris.
Haffner holds a BA in the History of Art and French from Wellesley College and an MA and MPhil from Yale University, where she is currently pursuing a PhD (projected 2024).
Image: courtesy of Amon Carter Museum of American Art
About the Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Located in the heart of Fort Worth’s Cultural District, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art (the Carter) is a dynamic cultural resource that provides unique access and insight into the history and future of American creativity through its expansive exhibitions and programming. The Carter’s preeminent collection includes masterworks by legendary American artists such as Ruth Asawa, Alexander Calder, Frederic Church, Stuart Davis, Robert Duncanson, Thomas Eakins, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jacob Lawrence, and John Singer Sargent, as well as one of the country’s foremost repositories of American photography. In addition to its innovative exhibition program and engagement with artists working today, the Museum’s premier primary research collection and leading conservation program make it a must-see destination for art lovers and scholars of all ages nationwide. Admission is always free. To learn more about the Carter, visit cartermuseum.org.