Erin J. Gilbert was recently appointed curator of African-American manuscripts at The Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art.
According to the Smithsonian officials, Gilbert’s work will include creating “a strategy for substantially increasing the collections of papers of and about African-American artists and traveling nationally to acquire collections.”
The Archives currently holds the papers of more than 50 African American artists including Romare Bearden, Sam Gilliam, Adrian Piper, Horace Pippin, William H. Johnson, Jacob Lawrence, Gwendolyn Knight, Alma Thomas, Bob Thompson, and Charles White.
Gilbert is an independent curator with experience in various departments of Chicago’s Kruger Gallery and the Art Institute of Chicago as well as the Studio Museum in Harlem in New York. During her tenure at the Studio Museum, Gilbert produced more than 60 critical discussions of contemporary African and African American art featuring internationally acclaimed artists and curators, including the Museum’s Director Thelma Golden, artist Glenn Ligon, and architect David Adjaye.
She has lived in the U.S., the U.K., and Malawi.
Gilbert earned a B.A. in political science and a B.A. in African and African American studies from the University of Michigan and an M.A. in contemporary art from the University of Manchester.