The Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) at the University of Utah recently announced that School of Art + Art History alumna Leslie Anderson-Perkins (MA Art History '06) has joined the UMFA staff as the museum’s new curator of European, American and regional art.
Anderson-Perkins holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Florida and master’s degrees in art history from UF and The City University of New York. Prior to joining the staff at UMFA she worked as curatorial assistant for European and American painting, sculpture and works on paper at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA). She has also held positions at the National Gallery of Denmark, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts and UF’s Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art.
“My first experience in the Harn is really what turned me on to museum work,” says Anderson-Perkins. “I knew I wanted to be an art historian, though I had not yet decided if I wanted to be a professor or work in a museum.”
Anderson-Perkins worked on her language skills while at UF, taking Italian and getting her master’s that focused on the Renaissance and Baroque. She is comfortable speaking Spanish and Danish, and can read proficiently in French, German and Italian.
“My experience at UF was foundational for me,” says Anderson-Perkins. “It equipped me with research skills and the educational background I needed to continue with this field in terms of language, art history and the humanities.”
Anderson-Perkins is the recipient of many prestigious grants, honors and awards, including a Samuel H. Kress Interpretive Fellowship at IMA, an American-Scandinavian Foundation Fellowship and a Fulbright Fellowship. She has taught at Brooklyn College, Parsons School of Design, Indiana University, Purdue University Indianapolis and the University of Indianapolis.
“My goal is to make art, particularly the collection I’m working with, accessible to a large audience and get them to think about it in new ways,” says Anderson-Perkins.
Anderson-Perkins recommends that current students volunteer outside of the area they are interested in to understand other departments. She also believes it is important to fill in your resume, work on research and try to publish an article or present papers at conferences.
“Perhaps the best advice came from UF and the Graduate Center that told me to apply for things, don’t worry about whether you’re going to get it, be confident in your research and eventually it will all work out,” says Anderson-Perkins.