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Key Staff Bios

Museum Director

 

Aaron Betsky was tapped as the Cincinnati Art Museum’s eighth director in 2006. As the former Director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam, one of the most important architecture museums and centers in the world, he held the post of Commissioner for the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Biennale’s International Architecture Exhibition for three consecutive editions and is now the Venice Biennale's Architecture Director (2008). Betsky also curated the eighth International Architecture Exhibition (2002) which won the Golden Lion for best foreign pavilion.

Betsky brings a strong combination of management, development, and scholarship experience to Cincinnati. He is a prolific writer and editor with a dozen books and magazines to his credit, including The New York Times, Metropolitan Home, Domus, and Artforum. His noted books include What is Modernism (Phaidon Press, to be published in autumn 2008) and The United Nations Building (Thames & Hudson, 2006).

After finishing his secondary education in the Netherlands, Betsky graduated from the Yale School of Architecture and is currently an accepted candidate for a Ph.D. in the History of Architecture from the Technical University in Delft (Netherlands). He has held the Eero Saarinen chair in architecture at the University of Michigan and has been a visiting professor at Columbia University, California College of Arts, School of Architecture in Houston, and Southern California Institute of Santa Monica. He is an honorary member of the British Institute of Architects (2004) and has won an award from the American Institute of Architects (2001). From 1985 to 1987, he worked with Frank O. Gehry Associates, Inc.

Originally from Missoula, Montana and raised in the Netherlands, Betsky has previously spent time in Cincinnati. From 1983 to 1985, he taught at the University of Cincinnati’s School of Architecture and Interior Design. In addition, he served on the architect selection committee for the Contemporary Arts Center’s new building in 1998.

 

 

Deputy Directors

 

Carol Edmondson is the Chief Financial Officer at the Cincinnati Art Museum.  Mrs. Edmondson has worked in the Finance Department, lending her talents for over fifteen years.  She oversees the Finance Department, the Gift Shop, Food Services, Facility Rental, and the Information Technology Department.  Prior to joining the Art Museum, Mrs. Edmondson worked as an Internal Auditor for Eagle Bank, located in Kentucky.  She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting from Northern Kentucky University. Throughout her career, Mrs. Edmondson has volunteered for school  programs, and has acted as treasurer for several athletic programs. 

 

Anita J. Ellis is the Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs at the Cincinnati Art Museum, where she has provided expertise and leadership with respect to exhibitions, publications, and collections development and management for more than thirty years. A recognized authority on Cincinnati decorative arts, especially ceramics, she has lectured extensively throughout the United States and is widely published in national and international art journals and magazines. In 1992, she won the Florence Roberts Head Book of the Year Award for the catalogue Rookwood Pottery: The Glorious Gamble. In 1995, she published Rookwood Pottery: The Glaze Lines, which remains the most extensive handbook on the subject. And in July 2003, her most recent book, The Ceramic Career of M. Louise McLaughlin, made its debut. Ellis originated and was the project director for The Cincinnati Wing: The Story of Art in Cincinnati, a permanent cross-media display in 18,000 square feet of a renovated wing in the Cincinnati Art Museum. This project was awarded grants from such prestigious organizations as the Luce Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and both planning and implementation grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Because of her work for The Cincinnati Wing and her active professional and community involvement spanning several decades, Ellis received the prestigious YWCA Career Woman of Achievement Award in 2004. Ellis serves on the Board of Trustees for numerous organizations including the American Ceramic Circle. She holds an A.B. degree in fine art and art history from Ohio Dominican University, where in 2000 she was honored as a Distinguished Alumna, and a master’s degree in art history from the University of Cincinnati. She has completed additional coursework at various institutions including Cambridge University, Cambridge, England.

 

David W. Linnenberg serves as the Chief Administrative Officer at the Art Museum. He oversees the Museum’s fundraising, marketing and communications, design and dissemination, membership, visitor services, and government relations departments.  Mr. Linnenberg is an active member of several community organizations, including the Board of Directors of the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments, and the Cincinnati USA Chamber of Commerce Government Policy Committee. He is Chairman of the Green Township Board of Trustees, where he lives with his two daughters.

 

 

Directors

 

Emily Holtrop is the director of Learning & Interpretation at the Cincinnati Art Museum. With over eleven years of museum experience, Ms. Holtrop has worked in the Division of Learning & Interpretation at the Cincinnati Art Museum since 2002 as the former assistant curator of education for school and teacher programs. Now she oversees the Art Museum’s interpretive and educational programming including school and teacher, youth and family, and adult programs, as well as ensuring that the Art Museum creates and implements educational programs of the highest quality that will fulfill the its mission by attracting and retaining diverse audiences. Before coming to the Cincinnati Art Museum, Ms. Holtrop was the Education Outreach Coordinator for the Historical Museum of Southern Florida and the Caribbean, now History Miami. Ms. Holtrop holds an A.A. in Art History from Grand Rapids Community College, a B.A. in Public History/Museum Studies from Western Michigan University and an M.A. in Architectural History from the University College of London: Bartlett School of Architecture.

 

Susan Hudson is the Art Museum’s Director of Collections & Exhibitions Management. In this role, she oversees the registration department as well as interdepartmental activities related to exhibition organization. She manages and directs all aspects of the office of registration, and serves as the principal internal and external contact for all exhibition-related administrative matters. Ms. Hudson has worked at the museum since 2008, when she first held the post of Exhibition Coordinator.  Before coming to the Cincinnati Art Museum, Ms. Hudson was the Assistant Registrar for Exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and later, served as the Manager of Collections and Registration at Cincinnati’s Taft Museum of Art. She is pleased to be an active member of several organizations in her community, including the Glendale Lyceum, which was built in 1892 as a cultural and social gathering place for the village of Glendale. Ms. Hudson previously served as the Program Director for the Harry Whiting Brown Community Center in Glendale.

 

Curators

 

Anita J. Ellis is the Deputy Director for Collections at the Cincinnati Art Museum where she has provided expertise and leadership with respect to exhibitions, publications, collections development and management for almost 40 years.  A recognized authority on Cincinnati Decorative Arts, especially ceramics, she has lectured extensively throughout the United States and is widely published in national and international art journals and magazines.  In 1992 she won the Florence Roberts Head Book of the Year Award for the catalog Rookwood Pottery: The Glorious Gamble; in 1995 she published Rookwood Pottery: The Glaze Lines, which remains the most extensive handbook on the subject; and, in July 2003, her book on The Ceramic Career of M. Louise McLaughlin, made its debut.  Her latest publication, co-authored with Dr. Susan Meyn, is Rookwood and the American Indian: Masterpieces of American Art Pottery from the James J. Gardner Collection.  Because of her active professional and community involvement throughout her career, Anita Ellis received the prestigious YWCA Career Woman of Achievement Award in 2004.  Ms. Ellis holds an A.B. degree in Fine Art and Art History from Ohio Dominican University where in 2000 she was honored with its Distinguished Alumna Award; a Master’s degree in Art History from the University of Cincinnati; and has completed additional coursework at various institutions including Cambridge University, Cambridge, England.

 

Cynthia Amnéus is Interim Chief Curator and Curator of Fashion Arts and Textiles with more than twenty years experience in her field. She received her B.A. from Edgecliff College of Xavier University and her M.A. from Illinois State University in textiles and fibers. She joined the Art Museum staff in 1991 serving as collection manager and preparator in the fashion arts and textile department. Prior to this, Amnéus was an adjunct instructor at Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati. She has lectured throughout the United States and published in various scholarly journals on a variety of fashion and textile topics. In 2004 she won the Victorian Society of America’s Ruth Emery Publication Award for A Separate Sphere: Dressmakers in Cincinnati’s Golden Age, 1877-1922. Her latest publication is Wedded Perfection: 200 Years of Wedding Gowns. She guest curated Contemporary Japanese Fashion: The Mary Baskett Collection for the Textile Museum and is currently working on an exhibition for the Crow Museum of Asian Art in Dallas. Amnéus is a member of the Costume Society of America, the Textile Society of America, and the American Society of Jewelry Historians. 

 

Dr. Esther Bell is the Curator of European Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture. She received her doctorate from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University with a specialization in seventeenth and eighteenth-century European art. Prior to entering the Institute, Dr. Bell received a Masters in the history of art at Williams College and a bachelor of arts in the history of art, with high honors, at the University of Virginia. Bell has been the recipient of many fellowships, including the J. William Fulbright fellowship with an affiliation at the Musée du Louvre and the Theodore Rousseau Fellowship in the Department of European Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. With over ten years of experience in some of the nation's finest museums, including the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Morgan Library & Museum, Dr. Bell has organized numerous exhibitions-- most recently·Ingres at the Morgan (2011, Morgan Library & Museum). Dr. Bell has a particular interest in eighteenth-century French art and has delivered lectures in distinguished international venues such as the University of St. Andrews, Scotland; the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes; the Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art, Paris; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

 

Dr. Julie Aronson has served as Curator of American Painting, Sculpture and Drawings at the Cincinnati Art Museum since 1999. Dr. Aronson earned her B.A. in art history from Brandeis University, master’s degree from Williams College, and Ph.D. from the University of Delaware. She is the recognized authority on the sculpture of Bessie Potter Vonnoh, the subject of her doctoral dissertation and her touring exhibition and catalogue Bessie Potter Vonnoh: Sculptor of Women (2008). Dr. Aronson’s professional experience includes a position as the assistant curator of American art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, and research posts at the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She has published and lectured on topics ranging from New England folk portraiture to painters and sculptors of the Cincinnati region. Her research on the Cincinnati Impressionist Edward Henry Potthast will culminate with an exhibition and book in 2013.
Dr. Aronson has contributed essays to American Naïve Paintings from the National Gallery of Art, The Oxford Dictionary of American Art and other compendia. At the Cincinnati Art Museum, she collaborated with Marjorie E. Wieseman to curate the exhibition Perfect Likeness: European and American Portrait Miniatures from the Cincinnati Art Museum (2006) with its landmark catalogue. Dr. Aronson was on the curatorial team that produced the permanent collection display The Cincinnati Wing: The Story of Art in the Queen City, and edited and co-authored the companion publication.

 

Amy Miller Dehan is the Curator of Decorative Arts and Design. Dehan joined the Cincinnati Art Museum in 2001. She was part of the curatorial team that developed The Cincinnati Wing: The Story of Art in the Queen City (2003), and her research on over 1,100 students of the Cincinnati art-carved furniture movement is included in the publication Cincinnati Art-Carved Furniture and Interiors (2003). She has curated several exhibition including Outside the Ordinary: Contemporary Art in Glass, Wood and Ceramics from the Wolf Collection (2009), with catalogue; Force of Nature: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Horvitz Collection (2010); Going Dutch: Contemporary Design from Local Collections and the Cincinnati Art Museum (2011), and The Art of Sound: Four Centuries of Musical Instruments (2012). She has lectured and published on a variety of topics. With a B.A. in art history from the College of William and Mary and an M.A. in art history from the University of South Carolina, she previously held posts at the College of William and Mary’s Muscarelle Museum of Art, the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is an alumnus of The Winterthur Fall Institute and the Attingham Summer School.

 

Kristin Spangenberg serves as Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs at the Cincinnati Art Museum. She has more than 35 years of experience in her field, having previously served as Assistant Curator of Prints at the Cincinnati Art Museum and Assistant Curator of Graphic Arts at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Ms. Spangenberg earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Davis, and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan. She also served an internship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Print & Photographic Department and has participated in a seminar on Preservation and Restoration of Photographs at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She is a member of the Print Council of America and the Cincinnati Graphic Arts Forum. Ms. Spangenberg has lectured on many topics, including recent lectures on Henri Toulouse-Lautrec and Frank Duveneck. She has also written articles for various publications such as Print Council of America Newsletter, and has written catalogues for many of the Museum’s exhibitions on prints, drawings and photographs.

 

Dr. Hou-mei Sung has served as the curator of Asian art at the Cincinnati Art Museum since 2002. Dr. Sung received a B.A. in foreign languages and literature and an M.A. in Chinese history, both from the National Taiwan University. She also earned a Ph.D. in museum studies from Case Western Reserve University. Prior to coming to Cincinnati, Dr. Sung served as research associate at the Cleveland Museum of Art and a variety of research and teaching positions in museum and academic fields in Asia and throughout the United States, including the National Palace Museum in Taipei, Taiwan; John Carroll University; Colorado College; Cleveland State University; and Case Western Reserve University. She also worked as the executive officer of the Chinese American Faculty and Staff Association and program director of the Chinese Arts and Culture celebration at Cleveland State University. Her research on Ming court painting received a Fulbright scholarship in 2000. Dr. Sung has over thirty publications, including her recent book, The Unknown World of the Ming Court Painters: The Ming Painting Academy.

 

Brian Sholis is the Associate Curator of Photography. He has worked as a curator, writer, and editor for more than ten years, both independently and at such organizations as Artforum and Aperture Foundation, and has organized exhibitions and public programs in Paris, Miami, and New York. His writing on photography and contemporary art has appeared in catalogues published by the Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum, the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and the Moderna Museet, and has appeared in Artforum, Frieze, Art in America, Aperture, and other periodicals. Sholis received his B.A. from Boston University and an M.A. in American History from the City University of New York’s Graduate Center. He has taught at the Pratt Institute, Parsons the New School for Design, New York University, and Lehman College, and has been a visiting critic at more than dozen other universities and art schools. Sholis’s particular interests include American landscape photography; Conceptual Art; and contemporary artists using photography.