Stockbridge, MA, March 4, 2015—Norman Rockwell Museum announced today the hiring of Jesse Kowalski as the Museum’s new Curator of Exhibitions. Kowalski began work at the Museum on March 2.
Mr. Kowalski is the former Director of Exhibitions at The Andy Warhol Museum, where he was employed for 18 of the Museum’s 20 years. He has curated many of the Warhol Museum’s popular traveling and in-house exhibitions over the last several years, including “Andy Warhol: Portraits” (the most comprehensive survey of the artist’s portraitures); “The Prints of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again;” and “Heroes and Villains: The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross,” which traveled to the Norman Rockwell Museum in 2012. In addition, Kowalski has developed cultural partnerships with museums, corporations, and governments while designing and overseeing the installation of exhibitions at dozens of museums in 15 countries. Most recently, he designed and supervised the reinstallation of The Andy Warhol Museum’s permanent collection galleries, which feature new traditional, interactive, and multimedia displays.
“I am delighted to welcome Jesse to our Museum’s talented curatorial team,” says Laurie Norton Moffatt, Director/CEO of Norman Rockwell Museum. “He brings significant experience from another of our nation’s leading single-artist museums, and understands the great audience appeal of our iconic artists.”
“Obscuring the lines between fine and applied art, Andy Warhol began his career as a successful commercial illustrator in the 1950s,” notes Norman Rockwell Museum Deputy Director/Chief Curator, Stephanie Plunkett. “Like Norman Rockwell, he created award-winning imagery for magazines, corporations, and books. We are honored to welcome this talented and experienced curator, who is so well versed in American popular culture and imagery, to the Museum’s staff. We look forward to working with Jesse on our many developing projects, and to having him bring his own perspectives and vision to the work that we do.”
“I have worked closely with the staff of the Norman Rockwell Museum on two exhibitions in the last few years,” adds Kowalski. “In that time, I have become enamored by the quality of the Museum’s collection and the enthusiasm of its staff. I am a lifelong fan of Norman Rockwell’s work and I appreciate the great care the Museum has taken to maintain the legacy of one of America’s great artists. I am honored to join such an important cultural institution as the Norman Rockwell Museum.”
Originally from Wichita, Kansas, Jesse Kowalski began working at Andy Warhol Museum in 1996, as part of an internship through the College of the Atlantic, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1997. Then in its second year, he returned to the Warhol Museum to work on its first major traveling exhibition, “The Warhol Look: Glamour Style Fashion,” which opened at the Whitney Museum in 1997. Advancing from project assistant to curatorial assistant, he was named the museum’s Director of Exhibitions in 2007. Kowalski recently relocated to the Berkshires, with his wife Heather, the former registrar at Andy Warhol Museum, and their two children.