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Brooklyn Museum Announces Darienne Turner as Curator of Indigenous Art

She will join the Brooklyn Museum in August 2023.

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(PRESS RELEASE) The Brooklyn Museum announces that Darienne (Dare) Turner has been appointed Curator of Indigenous Art. Turner is currently Assistant Curator of Indigenous Art of the Americas at the Baltimore Museum of Art, where she has been since 2017. She will join the Brooklyn Museum as its first full-time Curator of Indigenous Art in August 2023.

Dare Turner. (Photo: Christina Chahyadi)

Dare Turner. (Photo: Christina Chahyadi)

“We’re so pleased to welcome Turner to our growing curatorial team,” says Anne Pasternak, Shelby White and Leon Levy Director. “The Brooklyn Museum is committed to addressing the exclusion and erasure of Indigenous peoples. Drawing on her considerable expertise, Turner will help us think critically about our engagement with Indigenous communities and our important collection of Indigenous art.”

In her new role, Turner will be instrumental in growing and researching the Brooklyn Museum’s North American Indigenous art collection, as well as developing canon-expanding exhibition programming. The Museum has one of the foremost collections of Native American art, with over 13,600 items dating primarily from 1100 b.c.e. to 1500 c.e. and the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Highlights include works from the American Southwest, particularly of the Hopi, Zuni, and other Pueblo groups in Arizona and New Mexico; and works from California, including of such Indigenous communities as the Pomo, Maidu, and Hupa. Other highlighted regions include the Pacific Northwest, particularly works of the Kwakwaka’wakw, Haida, and Heiltsuk Nations; and the Great Plains, namely a group of early nineteenth-century Eastern Plains works acquired at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, and works of the Osage Nation after the tribe’s removal to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. Drawing on her rich experience with Indigenous art and cultures, Turner will bring this collection to today’s audiences.

“The Brooklyn Museum’s collection is simply remarkable, and I am thrilled to work alongside brilliant colleagues and Native community members to share it with the public,” says Turner. “The opportunity to re-present a historic collection at an institution dedicated to rethinking representation was one I couldn’t pass up. The artworks in the Museum’s care offer the keys to understanding who we are as living Native communities, and they highlight the ways in which Native people have thrived on this continent since time immemorial.”

Turner’s appointment continues a period of exciting new additions to the Brooklyn Museum’s curatorial roster. In the last year and a half, the Museum has welcomed Stephanie Sparling Williams, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of American Art; Kimberli Gant, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art; and Ernestine White-Mifetu, Sills Foundation Curator of African Art.

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About Dare Turner:
Dare Turner is an enrolled member of the Yurok Tribe of California, an art historian, and a museum professional, whose mission is to bring Indigenous art to new audiences and interpret it in fresh and accessible ways. Turner currently serves as the Assistant Curator of Indigenous Art of the Americas at the Baltimore Museum of Art and is the first Native person to ever hold such a role at the institution. Central to Turner’s work is a deep engagement with Indigenous artists and community members and a commitment to anticolonial methodologies. She holds a master’s degree in decorative arts, design history, and material culture from the Bard Graduate Center and a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from Stanford University.

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