The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (or Mia, as it is styled now) announced today that Robert Cozzolino will be the museum’s new Patrick and Aimee Butler Curator of Paintings. He is expected to begin his position at the Minnesota museum on March 1, 2016.
Cozzolino comes from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In his eleven-year tenure at the Philadelphia museum, where he is currently a senior curator and the Evelyn and Will Kaplan Curator of Modern Art, Cozzolino established himself as an expert in American painting. At PAFA, he notably held shows of such under-represented American painters as Elizabeth Osborne and George Tooker. Last year, Cozzolino curated “David Lynch: The Unified Field,” the acclaimed director’s first-ever major museum show, and he is currently working on a major survey of American artists during World War I for PAFA.
In addition to the news about Cozzolino’s appointment, Mia announced that the paintings department had received a new endowment from Elizabeth MacMillan, a former trustee of the museum. With the endowment, Patrick Noon, the current head of the department, will receive a new title—the Elizabeth MacMillan Chair of Paintings.
“It’s a pleasure to welcome a talented colleague like Bob to our Paintings department,” Noon, who has been with Mia since 1997, said of Cozzolino’s appointment in a press statement. “Bob’s expertise in the field of American art perfectly complements the strengths of our collection and I look forward to working with him.”
Cozzolino, who was born in Chicago, shared his excitement about coming back to the Midwest. “My time at PAFA and in Philadelphia, which has a vibrant and supportive arts community, has been truly wonderful,” he said in a news release. “However, I am thrilled to return to the Midwest where I grew up and to collaborate with my new colleagues at Mia. I look forward to emphasizing American art’s connections within Mia’s wider collection, and finding connections for Minneapolis’s diverse and engaged community. I feel fortunate to be leaving one great museum for another.”
The release also noted that, in his spare time, Cozzolino is a percussionist who has performed free-improvised music, and that he hopes to continue to do so with musicians in the Twin Cities.