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Smithsonian American Art Museum Announces Top Appointments at its Renwick Gallery

Media only: Laura Baptiste (202) 275-1595
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The Smithsonian American Art Museum has named Robyn Kennedy as the new chief of its Renwick Gallery and Jane Milosch as the new curator at its branch museum for crafts and decorative arts. Both began work earlier this month.

"I am delighted that Robyn Kennedy will continue to guide the Renwick Gallery with her superb management skills, and it is my pleasure to welcome Jane Milosch to the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where her curatorial experience and intellect will bring new energy to the program," said Elizabeth Broun, the museum's Margaret and Terry Stent Director. "Both Robyn and Jane will take the Renwick's program in new directions, including strengthening the rapport between crafts and the rest of American art, with a focus beyond studio crafts to include historic decorative art and non-studio contemporary traditions."

Kennedy has been at the museum since 1980, working for many years as a designer and most recently as the interim chief of the Renwick Gallery, where she has overseen daily operations at the museum and coordinated the exhibition program. Currently, she is working on the exhibition "High Fiber," scheduled to open at the Renwick next spring. Kennedy replaces Kenneth R. Trapp, who left the Smithsonian American Art Museum in October 2003.

Through her work as a designer, Kennedy has had broad exposure to the individual artists and collections that are central to the Renwick Gallery. Among her recent design credits are "Right at Home: American Studio Furniture" (2004), "Light Screens: The Leaded Glass of Frank Lloyd Wright" (2003), "George Catlin and His Indian Gallery" (2002), "The Furniture of Sam Maloof" (2001) and "Star-Spangled Presidents: Portraits by Liza Lou" (2000).

Milosch was curator of collections and exhibitions at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art in Iowa (2000–2004), where she was responsible for exhibitions, acquisitions and research on the permanent collection. Her recent major exhibition, "Art in Roman Life: Villa to Grave," was celebrated as both a major academic effort and a popular success. Her last exhibition, "The Naked Truth: 2004 International Juried Wood Fire Exhibition," opened in September 2004. She is currently finishing work as a guest curator on "Grant Wood's Studio: The Five Turner Alley Years, 1924–1934" for the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art.

Previously, Milosch was a curator at the Davenport Museum of Art in Iowa (1995–1997), and in the department of 20th-century art and modern decorative arts and design at the Detroit Institute of Arts (1990–1992). While living abroad, she worked as a project director and editor at Prestel Publishing in Munich, Germany (1998–2000) and at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy (1992–1994).

Milosch earned a bachelor's degree in art education with a concentration in art history and studio art/ceramics from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill. (1987). She has completed coursework towards a master's of fine art degree in ceramics at the University of Michigan and the Eastern Michigan University's School of Art in Ypsilanti. In 1987, she received a Fulbright Scholarship to study art history and ceramics at the University of Munich and the Munich Art Academy in Germany.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum collection began with gifts of art donated to the federal government in 1829 and has evolved into the world's most important American art holdings, with approximately 40,000 artworks in all media spanning more than three centuries. Its Renwick Gallery opened to the public in 1972. Over more than three decades, the Renwick Gallery has presented groundbreaking exhibitions devoted to modern craft traditions.

While the renovation of the museum's historic main building continues, American Art offers a full program of exhibitions at its Renwick Gallery (Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street N.W.). The Renwick Gallery is located steps from the White House in the heart of historic federal Washington in an architectural landmark building. For information, call (202) 633-1000 or visit the museum's award-winning Web site at