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Press Release

Museum of Wisconsin Art Appoints First Deputy Director

For Media & Press November 1, 2023

Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Jane L. Aspinwall to the inaugural position of Deputy Director. Aspinwall joins the museum with more than twenty years of experience working in art museums with specific skills in curatorial, collections care, and financial management. She will serve in a senior leadership position, working alongside the James and Karen Hyde Executive Director Laurie Winters. Aspinwall began her new role on November 1, 2023.

Aspinwall is a widely recognized expert in the photography field. Her numerous achievements include major publications, a wide variety of exhibitions including important multiple-venue shows, and years of experience in donor cultivation and development.

“I am delighted that Jane Aspinwall has joined the museum as Deputy Director. After ten years of exceptional growth since the opening of its new facilities in 2013, the museum is ready to build on a solid record of achievement that will better prepare the institution for the next decade. As MOWA plays an ever-larger role in the arts and cultural sectors of the state, Jane’s contributions will be critical to ensuring a vibrant vision of the future,” said Executive Director Winters.

Most recently, Aspinwall served as the Senior Curator of Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida, where she oversaw a 14,000-object collection and brought in $1.5 million in art gifts. She also served as co-curator and publication contributor for Tom Jones: Here We Stand, an exhibition organized by MOWA in 2022. Prior to working in St. Petersburg, Aspinwall was a long-time Curator of Photography at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri. In that role, she participated in the formation of a major photography program that began with the acquisition of the Hallmark Photographic Collection. Over thirteen years, Aspinwall helped to grow one of the most significant photography collections in the country to more than 15,000 objects, including a $10 million collecting initiative implemented prior to the pandemic. Recent exhibitions include Women’s Work: A Survey of Female Photographers and Shashin: Japanese Photographs from the Meiji era at the MFA, as well as Golden Prospects: California Gold Rush Daguerreotypes at the Nelson-Atkins.

Aspinwall’s new position transitions from a solely curatorial focus to also include more administrative responsibilities. “I am looking forward to tapping into another facet of my skill set to help propel MOWA into its next phase of growth and opportunity. I hope my combination of management skills, thought-provoking exhibitions, original scholarship, extensive experience in museum protocol and best practices, and far-reaching connections with colleagues and donors will add to the momentum that Laurie and her team have achieved.”

Aspinwall holds an MA and PhD in art history from the University of Missouri–Kansas City and an MBA in arts management from the University of Missouri–Columbia. She received a BS in accounting from St. Louis University.