Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) photo curator David Little is decamping from Minnesota to Massachusetts where he will become the Director and Chief Curator of the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College starting August 31.
In his seven year tenure at the MIA, Little organized more than 20 exhibitions including “The Sports Show,” a pioneering 2012 examination of the history of sports photography. His 2010 show “The Embarrassment of Riches,” brought together contemporary photos — many of them subtly critical — of the world’s uber wealthy. He also added more than 1,000 photos to the museum’s collection which now numbers 12,000 images.
At Amherst he will oversee a staff of 12, a $10 million endowment, and an omnibus collection of 19,000 objects that range from photography to African textiles, Hudson River school paintings, Russian art and 20th century modernism. Plus he’ll be closer to his two teenage daughters and wife, Darsie Alexander, the former Walker Art Center curator who last year was named director of the Katoah Museum of Art in Katonah, N.Y., a suburb of New York City.
Leaving the MIA and his Minnesota friends is “bitter sweet,” Little said, but the past year “has been a long commute.”
Prior to his Minneapolis work, Little was Associate Director and chair of education at the Whitney Museum of American Art and before that director of adult and academic programs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. He has taught contemporary art and theory at the Maryland Institute of Art and for the Duke University leadership and arts program and was a visiting scholar at the Heyman Center for the Humanities, Columbia University.
He earned his B.A. from Bowdoin College (1985), his M.A. from Williams College (1992) and his Ph.D. from Duke University (2001).