The museum on the campus of historically Black Hampton University in Virginia has announced the hiring of Kenlontae’ Turner as the new curator of collections. In his new position, Turner will help manage the permanent collection at the museum, as well as being involved with public programming, social media, and research and logistics behind exhibitions.
“I’m really excited to be focusing on African American and Native American art, which of course are two big sections of the collection here and is a really big part of the history of Hampton in general. I think in terms of the art world, we often get caught up in European art being the standard and that’s been the way for centuries. I think bringing more light and opportunities to African American artists and culture, and Native American artists and culture, really would shed a light on these stories, these histories that are just as valid as the rest of the world,” Turner said.
Turner, a native of Virginia, comes to Hampton University after recently working at the Freer Gallery of Art & Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, where he majored in studio art with a double minor in museum studies and art history. He earned a master’s degree in art and museum studies from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
“I’ve loved art ever since I was little,” Turner said. “I love the way that art can be used as a source of inspiration and education. By educating and inspiring others, places like the Hampton University Museum can create a potential dialogue and a truly meaningful experience for the audience.”