Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Welcomes Helga Davis As Next Visiting Curator For Performing Arts
Helga Davis, an accomplished New York City-based performer whose interdisciplinary work includes theater, opera, and fine art, will become the next Visiting Curator for Performing Arts at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum on July 1. Davis will be creating new and exciting programming that furthers the Museum's role as a vibrant arts and cultural center in Boston. Davis succeeds George Steel who is now the Museum's Abrams Curator of Music.
Davis performs all over the world and was a principal actor in the 25th anniversary international revival of Einstein on the Beach, the seminal opera by Robert Wilson and Philip Glass. She received the 2014 BRIC Media Arts Fireworks Grant, an award that helped her complete the first evening-length piece, Cassandra.
"I am delighted to embark on this new artistic adventure at the beautiful Gardner Museum," Davis said. "There is still so much to discover about the collection! I am completely inspired to bring my experience in the theater - and the people I've met who make theater and music and film and dance - to bring the collection to life for an ever-wider community."
Davis will be the second curator to hold this position as the Museum continues its commitment to programming in all art forms and builds on Isabella Stewart Gardner's desire to host multi-disciplinary cultural experiences. Gardner regularly held salons to bring together visual artists, musicians, dancers, writers, and poets. In her role, Davis will bring artists and communities together, from Boston and from around the world, by creating performances connected to the Museum, its collections, exhibitions, and public purpose.
"The goal is to provide a dynamic, engaging artistic incubator for new and contemporary expressions through dance, music, theater, and spoken. Davis' innovative work will activate our historic and modern spaces for our visitors and underscore the continuing relevance of our collection to the ideas of our time," said Peggy Fogelman, the Norma Jean Calderwood Director. "We are thrilled to welcome Helga."
Over the years, leading artists and composers have written works for Davis including: Oceanic Verses by Paola Prestini, Elsewhere by Missy Mazzoli, You Us We All by Shara Nova (of My Brightest Diamond) and Andrew Ondrejcak, Faust's Box, by Italian contemporary music composer Andrea Liberovici; and Yet Unheard, a tribute to Sandra Bland by Courtney Bryan, based on the poem by Sharan Strange.
Davis has been an artist-in-residence at National Sawdust since 2016 and is host of the podcast, Helga, on WQXR/New Sounds. Her current projects include: Silent Voices with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus; Black Light by Daniel Alexander Jones; Requiem for a Tuesday with bass-baritone Davone Tines and dancer/choreographer Reggie Gray.
"I am so happy that Helga accepted my invitation to share her gifts with us, and to broadcast her boundless energy and imagination through the singular medium of the Gardner Museum. It is going to be an exciting year!" according to George Steel, Abrams Curator of Music at the Gardner Museum (and previously the Museum's first Visiting Curator for Performing Arts).
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum - a magical creation of one woman's daring vision - invites you to awaken your senses and be transported. Modeled after a Venetian palazzo, unforgettable galleries surround a luminous courtyard and are home to masters such as Rembrandt, Raphael, Titian, Michelangelo, Whistler, and Sargent. The Renzo Piano wing provides a platform for contemporary artists, musicians, and scholars, and serves as an innovative venue where creativity is celebrated in all of its forms.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum • 25 Evans Way Boston MA 02215 • Hours: Open Daily from 11a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays until 9 p.m. Closed Tuesdays. • Admission: Adults $15; Seniors $12; Students $5; Free for members, children under 18, everyone on his/her birthday, and all named "Isabella" • $2 off admission with a same-day Museum of Fine Arts, Boston ticket • For information 617 566 1401 • Box Office 617 278 5156 • www.gardnermuseum.org