George R. Goldner, the Drue Heinz Chairman of the Met Museum's Department of Drawings and Prints, to Step Down in January
Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced today that George R. Goldner, who has been the Drue Heinz Chairman of the Museum's Department of Drawings and Prints since 1993, will step down at the end of January 2015. He announced further that Nadine Orenstein, currently a Curator in the department who specializes in European prints and books through the 19th century, will become the Drue Heinz Curator in Charge of the Department of Drawings and Prints on February 1.
"Over the course of his 21 years at the Met, George has proven time and again that he is a consummate connoisseur and scholar in his field," said Mr. Campbell in making the announcement. "He has led his talented team of curators in making an astonishing number of acquisitions-8,200-beginning with an exquisite Perugino drawing that was his first purchase for the Museum. Our current exhibition Paper Chase presents more than 60 superb works by such masters as William Blake, Leonardo da Vinci, Paul Gauguin, Peter Paul Rubens, and Titian, in celebration of George's accomplishments."
He continued: "I am certain that Nadine, an accomplished scholar, curator, and writer with an impressive roster of exhibitions and publications to her credit, will carry on this tradition of excellence. I look forward to working with her in her new role in the years ahead."
George Goldner commented: "I have had a wonderful two decades at the Met, building the collection and the staff. Nadine is one of the truly great curators I have worked with in my career. She is the perfect person to lead the department over the next decades."
George R. Goldner
Since becoming the Drue Heinz Chairman of the Department of Drawings and Prints, George Goldner has dedicated himself to strengthening his department's holdings of works on paper from Europe and the Americas, dating from about 1370 to the present, so that all important periods and schools would be well represented. The large number of acquisitions that have come into the department through purchases, gifts, and bequests during this time have included not only such famous works as Leonardo da Vinci's studies for a statue of Hercules, but also more esoteric works such as Hans Christian Andersen's A Whole Cut Fairy Tale; rare works such as the subtle engraving Queen of Flowers by the Master of the Playing Cards; and exceptional examples of an artist's oeuvre such as the majestic drawing Queen Esther Approaching the Palace of Ahasuerusby Claude Lorrain. Among his most important discoveries are the aforementioned Perugino as well as drawings by Pontormo, Andrea del Sarto, and Albrecht Altdorfer.
At the Met, he has also created or worked on exhibitions including The Drawings of Filippino Lippi and His Circle (1997), Raphael to Renoir: Drawings from the Collection of Jean Bonna (2009), An Italian Journey: Drawings from the Tobey Collection, Correggio to Tiepolo (2010), The Drawings of Bronzino (2010), and Bartholomeus Spranger: Splendor and Eroticism in Imperial Prague (2014).
He began his career at the Getty in 1979 as head of photo archives, then became the Getty's curator of drawings in 1983 and additionally its curator of paintings in 1989, before moving to the Metropolitan Museum in 1993. He received his B.A. from Columbia University, and his MFA and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University. In the 1970s, he taught at the State University of New York at Albany, and at Occidental College in Los Angeles.
After stepping down as Chairman of the Department of Drawings and Prints, he will work as an advisor to Leon Black, a Trustee of the Metropolitan Museum, in building his collection, and will continue to be a consultant to the Museum.
"I now look forward to working with Leon Black and continuing my association with the Museum," he said.
Nadine M. Orenstein
Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at The Metropolitan Museum of Art since 2003, Nadine Orenstein is in charge of the Dutch, Flemish, and German prints and books through the 19th century. She has worked at the Museum for much of her career-including two stints as supervisor of the Print Study Room in the 1980s, the second of which led to her subsequent positions in the department as an Assistant Curator (1993-1997), Associate Curator (1997-2003), and now Curator.
She has organized several exhibitions at the Met, including Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Drawings and Prints (2001), Hendrick Goltzius (1558-1617). Prints, Drawings and Paintings (2003), and most recently Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine (2011). She is also the lead curator of the current tribute exhibition to George Goldner, Paper Chase: Two Decades of Collecting Drawings and Prints (on view December 9, 2014-March 16, 2015).
She will oversee the work of the department on upcoming exhibitions and installations on Fragonard, Hercules Seghers, Michelangelo, the legacy of drawings curators William Ivins and A. Hyatt Mayor, Renaissance textile designs, and early etchings in Europe.
She has written and lectured extensively on 16th- and 17th-century works on paper. Her publications include several volumes for the New Hollstein Dutch series on the prints of Hendrick Hondius, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, and Simon Frisius. She also sits on the editorial and advisory boards of three journals in her field-The Rijksmuseum Bulletin, Print Quarterly, and Nouvelles de l'Estampe-and has held the position of President of the Print Council of America and the Lower East Side Printshop.
She received her B.A. from Barnard College and her Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Her dissertation was published in 1996 as Hendrick Hondius and the Business of Prints in Seventeenth-Century Holland.
About the Department of Drawings and Prints
In 1880 Cornelius Vanderbilt presented to the Metropolitan Museum 670 drawings by or attributed to European Old Masters. In its early decades, the collection of drawings grew slowly through purchase, gift, and bequest. Among notable acquisitions of this period were major drawings by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Rembrandt. In 1935, the Museum purchased an album of 50 sheets by Goya, while more than 100 works, mostly by Venetian artists of the 18th century, were acquired from the marquis de Biron in 1937. It was not until 1960 that the Department of Drawings was established as a separate curatorial area of the Museum with Jacob Bean as its first curator. During the next 30 years, the department's holdings nearly doubled in size; the collection is known particularly for its works by Italian and French artists of the 15th through the 19th century.
The Department of Prints was established in 1916 and developed rapidly into one of the world's most encyclopedic repositories of printed images under the guidance of its first curator, William M. Ivins, Jr., who attracted remarkable gifts and bequests to the Museum: Dürer prints from Junius Spencer Morgan; Gothic woodcuts and late Rembrandt etchings from Felix M. Warburg and his family; and Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Degas, and Cassatt prints from the H. O. Havemeyer collection. The collection continued to expand under the leadership of later curators: A. Hyatt Mayor, John McKendry, and Colta Ives. It is rich in 15th-century German, 18th-century Italian, and 19th-century French images. Within the department's scope are also more than 12,000 illustrated books and a comprehensive collection of designs for architecture and the decorative arts.
The Department of Drawings and Prints was created in October 1993, under the chairmanship of George Goldner, uniting the greater part of the Museum's varied and extensive collections of graphic art. The department maintains a rotating installation of its holdings in the Robert Wood Johnson Jr. Gallery, and its Study Room is open to scholars by appointment.