Eleanor Jones Harvey, Senior Curator

March 1, 2017

Eleanor Jones Harvey is a senior curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Her research interests include 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century American art, notably landscape painting, southwestern abstraction and Texas art. Her most recent exhibitions are “The Civil War and American Art” (2012), “Variations on America: Masterworks from the American Art Forum Collections” (2007) and “An Impressionist Sensibility: The Halff Collection” (2006). Her current work supports an exhibition on the considerable impact of naturalist Alexander von Humboldt on American art and culture.

Harvey joined the museum’s staff in 2003 as the curator for the museum’s Luce Foundation Center for American Art, an innovative study center with visible storage. She was the museum’s chief curator from 2003 to 2012. Harvey oversaw the installation of the permanent collection galleries in 2006 after a major renovation of the museum’s historic landmark building. In 2008, she was a fellow at The Center for Curatorial Leadership in New York City.

Previously, Harvey was curator of American art at the Dallas Museum of Art in Texas from 1992 to 2002. During her tenure, she organized several exhibitions, including “The Voyage of the Icebergs: Frederic Church’s Arctic Masterpiece” (2002), “Thomas Moran and the Spirit of Place” (2001) and “The Painted Sketch: American Impressions from Nature, 1830–1880” (1998).

The book The Painted Sketch: American Impressions from Nature, 1830–1880 (1998), based on Harvey’s dissertation, won the 1999 Henry Russell Hitchcock Award from the Victorian Society of America as the most significant contribution to 19th-century fine arts studies. Her essay on artist Sanford R. Gifford appeared in the exhibition catalogue Hudson River School Vision: The Landscapes of Sanford R. Gifford (2003).

She earned a bachelor’s degree with distinction from the University of Virginia in 1983, and she holds both a master’s degree (1985) and doctorate in art history (1998) from Yale University.

About the Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is the flagship museum in the United States for American art and craft. It is home to one of the most significant and inclusive collections of American art in the world. The museum’s main building, located at Eighth and G streets N.W., is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The museum’s Renwick Gallery, a branch museum dedicated to contemporary craft, is located on Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street N.W. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Check online for current hours and admission information. Admission is free. Follow the museum on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. Smithsonian information: (202) 633-1000. Museum information (recorded): (202) 633-7970. Website: americanart.si.edu.

Press Images

A photograph of Eleanor Harvey sitting in front of a painting.
Press - Eleanor Jones Harvey