Pamela Franks, the curatorial fellow who organized the renowned exhibit “The Tiger’s Eye: The Art of the Magazine” in 2002, has returned to Yale to take up a position as Curator of Academic Initiatives at the Yale University Art Gallery.
Franks left Yale when her two-year fellowship expired in 2002, spending less than two years at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas before being appointed to her new position at the Art Gallery, which she assumed on March 1. Among other tasks, Franks will try to expand the use of the Gallery’s collections by members of the Yale community.
Anna Hammond, the Art Gallery’s Deputy Director for Programs and External Affairs, said the report of the Committee on Yale College Education’s focus on integrating the arts more fully into undergraduate education had influenced the decision to hire Franks and expand her position.
“Dean Broadhead’s report in some ways echoes many of things the gallery has already been doing for years, putting curators together with faculty and undergraduates to use the collections,” Hammond said. “Having one person on staff wholly dedicated to that endeavor allows us to do it in a much broader way.”
A 2000 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin’s Ph.D. program in art history, Franks has museum experience in areas ranging from publishing to education and outreach. She also has important curatorial experience, and has taught at Yale, the University of Texas, and the Rhode Island School of Design.
Hammond said Franks’ experience at the Nasher center had made her especially well qualified for the job.
“She was one of six candidates who made the final interview process,” Nasher said. “Her job at the new museum in Dallas gave her the sort of broad skills she’ll be using in her new position, working with communities and academics.”
Marie Weltzien, the Art Gallery’s Public Relations Director, said Franks came to Yale for the challenge of the new job.
“I think she’d enjoyed working at the art gallery and this was a challenge,” Weltzien said. “Our institution is much more varied than that, and rather than just working with sculpture, she’ll be working with a much more encyclopedic collection.”
Franks was curator and wrote the catalogue for the 2002 Yale University Art Gallery exhibit “The Tiger’s Eye: The Art of a Magazine,” which was praised throughout the art world. In it, Franks gave museum patrons a unique look at one of the many small magazines published in the first half of the twentieth century.
Franks was unavailable for comment Monday night.
Weltzien said Franks would make a great impact on the interaction between the arts and undergraduate education at Yale.
“She’ll be working with every other department, not just art history or school of art,” Weltzien said. “She’ll be trying to find bridges from mathematics and physics and everything to working with the art gallery.”
[ydn-legacy-photo-inline id=”17895″ ]