Linda-Wolk-SimonFormer Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Dr. Linda Wolk-Simon assumed the role of director and chief curator of the Bellarmine Museum and the Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery on Feb. 2.

Wolk-Simon worked at the Met from 1986 to 2011 as a curator of drawings and prints and as an assistant curator of the Robert Lehman Collection, a distinguished collection spanning 700 years of western European art, including many different forms of paintings, drawings, sculptures, enamels and textiles. She described the experience working for the Met as “a dream come true, great honor and privilege.”

Wolk-Simon described her experience working in different departments at the Met and her focus on Italian art. Her responsibilities were researching collections, display placement, wall colors and answering questions for the public. With the advent of the Internet, she would also update an electronic catalog.

Wolk-Simon looks forward to her work with the Bellarmine Museum and the Walsh Gallery.

“I’m very happy to be working at a museum within an academic community. I’ve always believed that museums have a didactic function. I’m glad that I can work with students now, and I’m excited to be teaching, which is an opportunity that working at Fairfield affords.”

As director and curator, Wolk-Simon is responsible for overseeing and running both the Bellarmine Museum and the Walsh Gallery, while also designing and coming up with exhibitions.

Wolk-Simon went on to explain how she would like to cross the lines between different subjects and art. For example, she thinks it would be a great idea to incorporate things like science and literature as subjects explored in exhibitions at the museum, engaging with academic colleagues in many different disciplines to use such exhibitions and collections as teaching tools.

When asked if she intended to make any changes in the way the museum and gallery are run, Wolk-Simon replied, “I’m starting off with a beautiful gem of a place. The gallery and museum are very handsome. But museums are living entities. They don’t want to be frozen in a moment of time. There are always new approaches and ways to grow.”

She went on to elaborate that there might be opportunities to expand the museum’s collection in small ways.

“I’m interested in exploring the topic of the Jesuits and art, which I think is a pertinent topic at Fairfield.”

Wolk-Simon is very pleased to join the Fairfield community.

“I’m so struck by the commendable and glorious combination of real intelligence and real kindness on the part of everyone I’ve met. I’m very fortunate to be in such a place.”

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