Over the coming months, Art Matters will be introducing you to some of the interesting people who make the AGO’s world go ‘round: our curators. Have you ever wondered who’s working behind the scenes to put together the exhibitions and acquire artworks that make you think, laugh and weep? Stay tuned, because we’ll give you a sneak peek into the worlds of each one.
We’ll start this series off with a big announcement. Two curators who have been with the Gallery for years have been promoted into significant positions. Sophie Hackett is now our Curator of Photography, and Sasha Suda is now Curator, European Art & R. Fraser Elliott Chair, Print & Drawing Council.
We asked Stephanie Smith, the AGO’s Chief Curator, about these changes within her team. In a word? She’s thrilled. According to Stephanie, “Sasha and Sophie are rising stars. Each of them has shown strong leadership in their respective fields — this is visible at the AGO, in Toronto and internationally. Both are passionate — even fierce! — advocates for great art and ideas. They are scholars and collection-builders. They care deeply about the visitor experience. And both are committed to the AGO and to our values of art, learning and access. It’s a great time for both European art and Photography at the AGO.”
Sophie received her MA from the University of Chicago. She joined the AGO in 2006 as Assistant Curator, Photography and has held the position of Associate Curator, Photography since 2013. Among many accomplishments, Sophie has played a key role in acquiring major bodies of work, including the Garry Winogrand, Malcolmson and Casa Susanna collections, and developed a powerful series of exhibitions that have increased the reach of the AGO’s photography program, including Fan the Flames: Queer Positions in Photography in 2014 and Outsiders: American Photography and Film, 1950s-1980s earlier this year.
Sasha, who holds a PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, joined the AGO in 2011 as Assistant Curator, European Art. She was promoted first to Associate Curator, European in 2013, then Curator and R. Fraser Elliott Chair, Print & Drawing Council in 2015, and took on the additional role of Interim Curator of European Art in April 2016. Sasha has also been key to integrating our very special Thomson Collection of European Art into the AGO’s broader program through research and advocacy, including the upcoming exhibition Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures.
We are proud to have such immense talent on the AGO’s curatorial team.
Watch for more staff announcements in the coming weeks, including a welcome salute to our newest curators Alexa Greist and Wanda Nanibush.