Curator Jarrett Gregory heads to the Hirshhorn

She joins Smithsonian museum’s growing curatorial team just after organising Armory Show Focus sector


Jarrett Gregory

The curator Jarrett Gregory—who organised the buzz-generating, re-jigged Focus sector at this year’s Armory Show in New York—begins a new position today, 6 March, as a curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC. “I’m thrilled to be joining the Hirshhorn team,” she said over email as she rode the train from New York to Washington. Gregory made a splash during her tenure as the assistant curator of contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma) from 2011 to 2016, where she organised the American leg of the French artist Pierre Huyghe’s first major retrospective.

Jarrett joins a fast-growing curatorial team at the Smithsonian museum. She is the fourth curator the Hirshhorn has hired in just over two years. Most recently, the museum appointed its first curator of media and performance art, Mark Beasley, in December. Melissa Chiu, the museum’s director since 2014, says in a statement: “As the national institution of contemporary art, our primary mission is to present a considered and inclusive view of modern art history, and we are fortunate that each one of our curators brings a distinct perspective and wealth of expertise to this mission.” 

In addition to her to her recent role at Lacma, Gregory has held curatorial positions in New York at the Whitney Museum of American Art—where she began her career—and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, and has organised shows on artists such as Paul Chan, Dorothy Iannone, Lawrence Weiner and Urs Fischer. She is on the advisory board of the Lusanga International Research Centre for Art and Economic Inequality, a new institution due to open this spring in the Democratic Republic of Congo, co-founded by a local art collective of plantation workers.

“I am endlessly impressed with Melissa and [chief curator] Stéphane [Aquin], and I look forward to contributing my experience and perspective to the institution’s programming and vision,” Gregory said in her email. “I am honoured to be working for our national museum of contemporary art and am especially excited to relocate to Washington DC, a city that is central to my thinking. I look forward to interacting with the diverse and engaged individuals that make up DC, and to organising exhibitions in such a vital context.”