Medieval art historian Katherine Werwie is new Associate Curator of the Nasher Museum of Art

Image of Katherine Werwie, posed standing in a black longcoat and black trousers

Medieval art historian Katherine Werwie to be new Associate Curator of the Nasher Museum of Art

Excerpted from the Nasher Museum of Art News

Katherine Werwie has been hired as the new Associate Curator of the Nasher Museum of Art. She is a medieval art scholar who will conceptualize and implement curatorial programming. She will start on June 1, 2023. 

The museum’s Brummer Collection of medieval art was a big draw for Katherine Werwie. Duke’s original art museum was founded in 1969 with the acquisition of 200 medieval sculptures from the Ernest Brummer Collection. Highlights from the collection include an arch carved with twining figures of men and beasts from the Cathedral of Alife in southern Italy, sculptures of saints and other works that decorated Christian churches, palaces, and homes across Europe.

“It’s a fantastic collection of medieval art that has gone a bit under-noticed in the art historical community,” Katherine said. “I am very excited to begin research and help build connections between the historical collection and contemporary works.”

In her role as associate curator, Katherine said she is interested in dispelling outdated myths about medieval society.

“It’s extremely important to both historicize a lot of the systems and institutions that exist today but also to use the collection to blow open ideas we have around medieval Europe. Historic Europe was more diverse than people might think. They were exchanging ideas and materials with north Africa and the Middle East and there were people of different religious and ethnic backgrounds living and creating art within Europe’s borders. We can use narratives about historic European art to examine some of the complex issues of today.”

Katherine comes to Duke from the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, CT, where she works as a graduate research assistant in technical cataloguing; The Met Cloisters in New York, where she was an educator;  and the Worcester Art Museum, where she was a Kress Interpretive Fellow. She expects to complete a Ph.D. in the history of art and architecture at Yale University this year. She earned a master’s degree at the University of Cambridge, as well as a bachelor’s degree at Barnard College, Columbia University.