Chief Curator Barbara L. Jones to Retire in April 2022

GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania (September 7, 2021) – On April 1, 2022, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art’s Barbara L. Jones will retire from her position as Chief Curator for the organization where she will have worked for over 26 years. To commemorate her retirement and her outstanding work during her long tenure, the Museum will plan special public programming for the spring of 2022 to be announced in the Winter/Spring 2022 issue of the Perspectives newsletter, which will be published in early January.

“Being Chief Curator of The Westmoreland has been the greatest experience of my life. I have been so fortunate to have a voice in the operations of this museum, an opportunity not always available to curators. My role here has allowed me to do everything I love: handle objects, design installations; research, and write about our collection of American art; and share all of this with the public. I felt an affinity with this Museum and collection the first time I saw it and feel privileged to have served as curator for so many years. I contributed my best to an institution that I feel is the best! As I ease into this new chapter of my career, I applaud my fellow team members, both past and present, who share my vision and passion for our collection and Museum,” Jones remarked.

Anne Kraybill, The Richard M. Scaife Director/CEO, commented, “Over the past three years, I have had the privilege to work with Barbara and learn from her deep well of knowledge. She is the epitome of generosity as she shares her enthusiasm for American art with scholars and the public alike. Her history of publications and programs has positioned our collection in a national context. She should be proud of everything she contributed to the field of American art history as well as to this community!”

Jones was hired as the Museum’s first Curator, joining The Westmoreland in October 1995, and was promoted to Chief Curator in 2009. A member of the Senior Management team, she has overall responsibility for the Museum’s permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. With a concentration in the primary fields of nineteenth and twentieth century American art, she holds Masters degrees in both Art History and Museum Studies from Syracuse University and has a record of published research in American art. She has taught Art History courses at a number of different colleges and universities over the years, including Saint Vincent College and University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.
During her time at The Westmoreland, she has curated over 30 featured exhibitions for the Museum. Publications that she has authored in conjunction with exhibitions include Nature Staged: The Landscape and Still Life Paintings of Levi Wells Prentice (1993) for the Adirondack Museum; Samuel Rosenberg: Portrait of a Painter, in cooperation with Carnegie Museum of Art (2003); Born of Fire: The Valley of Work, on the Museum’s scenes of industry collection (2006); and Painting in the United States (2008). Picturing America: Signature Works from the Westmoreland Museum of American Art (2010) was published to accompany the reinstallation of the permanent collection galleries that year. She co-curated and contributed to the catalogue accompanying the forthcoming exhibition Simple Pleasures: The Art of Doris Lee, opening at the Museum later this month before it travels nationally to three other venues.
A member of the American Alliance of Museums and the Association of Art Museum Curators, she juries both national and regional art exhibitions and lectures on a regular basis. With her Museum team, she completed the reinstallation of the permanent collection galleries after the interior renovation in 2000 and the redesign and reinstallation of all of the renovated and expanded galleries following the Museum’s major expansion in 2015. She served as a member and Chair of the Historic Architectural Review Board for the City of Greensburg from 2007-2019.

The Westmoreland will be recruiting a new Curator of American Art soon to succeed Jones.