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Release Date: February 14, 2020

National Gallery of Art Washington Announces New Curator of Italian and Spanish Paintings Eve Straussman-Pflanzer

Eve Straussman-Pflanzer

Eve Straussman-Pflanzer
Photo credit: Eric Wheeler

Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art, Washington, announced today that Eve Straussman-Pflanzer has been appointed curator and head of Italian and Spanish paintings. She will begin the post in June 2020. Straussman-Pflanzer is currently head of the European art department and the Elizabeth and Allan Shelden Curator of European Paintings at the Detroit Institute of Arts, where she has worked since 2016. Straussman-Pflanzer has previously held posts at Wellesley College's Davis Museum in Massachusetts, the Art Institute of Chicago, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In her new position at the Gallery, Straussman-Pflanzer will succeed David Alan Brown, who retired in 2019 after serving 45 years as curator.

"I am delighted to welcome Eve to Washington and to the National Gallery of Art team. She inherits an important collection of Italian and Spanish paintings—one that includes our beloved Ginevra de' Benci by Leonardo da Vinci," said Kaywin Feldman, director of the National Gallery of Art. "Eve's experience, scholarship, and creativity will enable us to understand and exhibit that collection in new ways while also fueling visitor curiosity about the extraordinary works we hold in trust for the nation."

Eve Straussman-Pflanzer

Prior to her current tenure at the DIA, Straussman-Pflanzer served as assistant director of curatorial affairs/senior curator of collections at the Davis Museum, where she oversaw the reinstallation of the permanent collection and curated the first monographic exhibition in the United States devoted to the 17th-century Florentine artist Carlo Dolci. At The Met and the Art Institute of Chicago, she researched and published on European painting and sculpture from the Renaissance to the 18th century. At the Art Institute, she also curated the 2013 exhibition Violence and Virtue: Artemisia Gentileschi's Judith Slaying Holofernes. Straussman-Pflanzer is an authority on Italian painting in the early modern period and an expert on early modern women artists and patrons. She is presently curating a groundbreaking exhibition on Renaissance and baroque Italian women artists, which will open at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, in October 2020 and at the DIA in February 2021.

Straussman-Pflanzer is a native of New York City. She holds a BA from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and a PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University.

Italian and Spanish Paintings at the National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art's collection of Italian paintings is considered the most important in the United States and among the finest and most comprehensive in the world. It spans trailblazing 14th-century works by Duccio and Giotto; extraordinary holdings of Florentine Renaissance masters Sandro Botticelli, Fra Angelico, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael; and outstanding examples from Venice by Giorgione and Titian. The Baroque period is represented with masterpieces by Lodovico Carracci and Orazio Gentileschi, and the 18th century is captured by dazzling Venetian view paintings. This remarkable collection includes a number of paintings iconic in the history of art—most notably Leonardo's famed portrait of Ginevra de' Benci.

The Gallery's collection of Spanish paintings reflects the particular tastes of US collectors in the early 20th century. Its richness is represented by distinguished masterworks by El Greco and Francisco de Goya; well-known canvases by Diego Velázquez, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, and Francisco de Zurbarán; and exquisite still lifes by Juan van der Hamen y León and Luis Meléndez.

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