It took more than a year to find a person to fill the role of director of curatorial affairs and curator of American art but with the hiring of Jonathan Frederick Walz, Columbus Museum director Marianne Richter said, “we have found the right fit.”
A national search was held to find the replacement for Kristen Miller Zohn.
And Walz impressed everyone with his knowledge of American art.
“He is an expert,” Richter said.
But there was something else.
“We were really impressed by his enthusiasm,” she said.
Walz begins fulltime on Aug. 18 but will be doing some work here before then.
He comes to Columbus from a position as curator of American art at the Sheldon Museum at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb.
Previous positions include curator and interim director of the art museum at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., and exhibition coordinator in the exhibitions department of the National Gallery in Washington D.C.
“I look forward to working with Marianne and the rest of the staff and the board to consolidate and advance the museum’s leadership position in the region; to develop the collection, including continuing to acquire works by artists that will provide a fuller account of the histories of American art; and to maintain and strengthen the museum’s relationship with Columbus State University and other regional institutions of higher learning,” said Walz in a press release.
The director said Walz is excited about the connection between the museum and the Muscogee County School District.
“He is going to be a great addition to the community,” Richter said.
As director of curatorial affairs, Walz will plan and direct the care, interpretation, and growth of the museum’s collections of art and history.
As curator of American art, he will be responsible for researching, planning, and organizing art exhibitions, as well, as researching objects in the collection and developing publications related to the collections and exhibitions.
“He has some very creative ideas,” Richter said.