Home Architect Ruth Erickson named chief curator of the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art

Ruth Erickson named chief curator of the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art

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The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, today appointed Ruth Erickson as the museum’s Chief Curator Barbara Lee and Director of Curatorial Affairs, effective June 1. She will replace Eva Respini, who has held the position since early 2015. Respini, who recently curated and co-commissioned Simone Leigh Golden Lion United States Pavilion at the 2022 Venice Biennale, will return to the ICA as guest curator for the museum’s Firelei Báez exhibition in March 2024, the artist’s first institutional survey.

“I am truly delighted to have Ruth Erickson serve as Chief Curator Barbara Lee and Director of Curatorial Affairs for the ICA,” said ICA Director Jill Medvedow. “As an art historian and humanist, Ruth will lead with a keen eye, an open heart, and a clear vision of justice and the ways in which art, artists, and museums can make sense, build a community and inspire hope and change.”

Since 2018, Erickson has served as Senior Curator of the Mannion Family at the ICA. She joined the museum in 2012 as a research fellow for the exhibition “Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933–57”. Prior to her arrival at the museum, she was a fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia from 2008 to 2010; prior to that, she was a curator at Burlington City Arts in Vermont from 2004 to 2007. She has an M.A. and Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Pennsylvania and received her BA from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. The recipient of a 2021 Center for Curatorial Leadership Fellowship, she is most recently curator of “To Begin Again: Artists and Childhood” and “A Place for Me: Figurative Painting Now” (both 2022) and “Guadalupe Maravilla : Mariposa Relámpago,” which opens at the ICA Watershed on May 25. The exhibition is themed around issues of community and care and will feature a major new commission from the artist: a colossal vibrational healing instrument made from a repurposed school bus.

“I am thrilled to extend my work to the ICA, a place I know well and deeply love,” Erickson said. “I look forward to building on a decade of collaboration with artists and museum colleagues to deepen and broaden our engagement with the public, amplify the impact and visibility of our permanent collection, and advance new art and ideas through major commissions and exhibitions.


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