Minneapolis Institute of Art Appoints Curator of Photography and New Media

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Minneapolis, MN, February 24, 2016—The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), one of the nation’s leading encyclopedic museums, today announced a new curatorial appointment: Yasufumi Nakamori, as department head and Curator of Photography and New Media. Dr. Nakamori’s first day at Mia will be May 31, 2016.

Yasufumi Nakamori joins Mia from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, where he is currently the associate curator of photography. In Houston, since 2008, Nakamori has organized numerous groundbreaking exhibitions, including For a New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968-1978 (2015) (that traveled to NYU Grey Art Gallery and Japan Society Gallery in New York City), Utopia/Dystopia: Construction and Destruction in Photography and Collage (2012), Ruptures and Continuities: Photography Made after 1960 from the MFAH Collection (2010), and I Still Believe in Tomorrow: Contemporary Video from Asia (2008), the museum’s first exhibition exclusively dedicated to video, among others. Artforum listed two of the exhibitions he organized, including For a New World to Come, as among the best exhibitions of the year.

While in Houston, he brought over 700 photographs to the museum, including works by Matthew Buckingham, Thomas Demand, Naoya Hatakeyama, Miyako Ishiuchi, Danny Lyon, Trevor Paglen, Walid Raad, and Martha Rosler, and as well as a gift of nearly 300 photographs of the New Bauhaus trained Yasuhiro Ishimoto, creating the second largest collection of the photographer’s work outside of Japan.

Nakamori’s 2010 exhibition catalogue Katsura – Picturing Modernism in Japanese Architecture: Photographs by Ishimoto Yasuhiro, which traces the collaboration of the photographer with the architect Kenzo Tange for the making of the 1960 publication Katsura: Tradition and Creation in Japanese Architecture, received in 2011 an Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Award from the College Art Association. In 2010, Nakamori served as a curator for Singapore International Photography Festival, Singapore, and previously held curatorial positions at Singapore Biennale 2006, Singapore; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Boston, MA; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; and teaching positions at Rice University, Houston, TX; Hunter College, New York, NY; and The Museum of Modern Art, NY. Nakamori has lectured widely on global post-1945 art, and participated in symposia in Europe, America, and Asia. He received his doctorate in art history from Cornell University in 2011.

“We are pleased to add Yasu’s energy and international expertise to our talented team of curators,” said Kaywin Feldman, Mia’s Duncan and Nivan MacMillan Director and President. “Yasu has demonstrated an exciting talent in curating thought-provoking exhibitions within museums, as well as international art festivals. We also look forward to his sharing his teaching background, which will contribute greatly to Mia’s commitment to visitor interpretation and connecting with new audiences.”


About Mia’s Photography and New Media Collection

Begun in 1973, Mia’s collection of photographs spans the history of photography from the 1860s to the present. Representing more than 800 photographers and 11,500 works of art, the collection has outstanding examples of twentieth-century American photography, with particular depth in the genres of documentary photography, photojournalism, and pictorialism. Since 2008, the museum has focused on expanding its holdings of contemporary photography and new media from all countries. This initiative increases the scope and relevance of the photography collection and enhances its links to Mia’s diverse, global holdings.