Wednesday, March 03, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Museum of Art
Join us for Curator to Curator, a virtual discussion with Kristina Durocher, Director, Museum of Art, and James Zemaitis, curator and former head of twentieth-century design at Sotheby’s and contributor to recently published, Objects: USA 2020. Durocher and Zemaitis discuss new approaches and construction techniques that revolutionized 20th-century American studio furniture design and Daniel Loomis Valenza’s contributions elevating craft nationally.
More about James Zemaitis:
James Zemaitis is the Director of Museum Relations at R & Company in New York. He specializes in American and European historical design and has curated exhibitions at the gallery ranging from British plywood of the 1930s to American studio furniture of the 1960s. Most recently, he collaborated with Glenn Adamson on Objects: USA 2020, a major exhibition and publication that pairs a new generation of design artists with a selection of object makers featured in the seminal 1969 exhibition. The catalog was published this past November by Monticelli Press, and the exhibition, which recently opened on February 16th, will run through July 31st. Amongst the fifty artists selected from the original exhibition are several woodworkers, including Wendell Castle, George Nakashima, and Daniel Loomis Valenza.
From 2003 to 2013, James was a Senior Vice President at Sotheby’s, where he produced over fifty auctions and catalogs of 20th and 21st Century Design. James left Sotheby’s in 2013 to serve as the Visiting Curator of Decorative Arts at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. In 2016, after curating exhibitions at Friedman Benda in New York and Longhouse Reserve on Long Island, James joined the team at R & Company. In addition to his curatorial work, James advises a diverse group of private clients, museums, and auction houses on acquisitions and market strategy. He is responsible for building partnerships with museums to exhibit and acquire both historical and contemporary designers represented by the gallery.
Prior to Sotheby’s, James served as Director of 20th Century Design at Phillips, where he is credited with developing and popularizing the modern secondary auction market for postwar and contemporary design. Over the years, James has been the subject of two lengthy profiles in The New York Times and has been honored with awards in publications including Wallpaper*, Art & Auction, and New York.
James received his B.A. in Art History from Oberlin College, where he has served on the Visiting Committee of the Allen Memorial Art Museum since 2007.