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Conversations & Cocktails with Kelly Baum and Preston Haskell




Preston Haskell talking about his piece by artist, Willem de Kooning.

The on-going Conversations & Cocktails series is an intimate experience that offers fresh perspectives on the artwork exhibited at the Museum, through the eyes of a collector, an artist, an art educator, or a curator.

Join us for the first Conversations & Cocktails of the year to talk about Rothko to Richter: Mark-Making in Abstract Painting from the Collection of Preston H. Haskell, organized by the Princeton University Art Museum. In support of this incredible exhibition, the Museum is hosting Princeton University Art Museum Curator Kelly Baum. Ms. Baum will be joining Collector Preston Haskell, to talk about the concepts behind mark-making and the curation of his extensive collection.

Kelly Baum, Haskell Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Princeton University Art Museum

We recently had the opportunity to pick Kelly Baum’s brain about her experiences as a Curator and what makes this exhibition so unique. Read below for a bit of inside information about Rothko to Richter, then make sure to attend Conversations & Cocktails on Thursday, February 12th at 6:30 p.m. to hear more. To make reservations for this event, click here.

Cummer Museum: Can you please tell us a bit of back story about your history with Princeton?

Kelly Baum: I’m the museum’s founding curator of modern and contemporary art and the first person to hold the Haskell Curatorship. Over the last seven years, I have worked to build the museum’s collection of modern and contemporary art, and to organize exhibitions and projects. In addition to teaching my own classes and supporting the teaching of others, I have published catalogues and participated in programs with many of the University’s most brilliant minds, both faculty and students. It’s a dream job. I’m learning every day.

CM: Does the Princeton University Art Museum have a focus on certain types of art that are generally showcased?

KB: Princeton’s Art Museum is a semi-encyclopedic museum with ten curators working in fields ranging from Art of the Ancient Americas to Photography and Prints and Drawings. Modern and Contemporary Art is only one part, but an important part, of our programs and collections.

CM: How did the concept for the exhibition with Preston Haskell come about?

KB: Preston has been a dedicated supporter of Princeton’s museum for over twenty-years. Among many other acts of generosity, Preston endowed the curatorial position I hold today. Our director, James Steward, and I had long admired Preston’s incredible collection of post-war art, and three years ago, we started a conversation with Preston about featuring the most important of his paintings in an exhibition at Princeton.

CM: Are there plans to take the show on the road to any other museums other than the Cummer?

KB: No, the Cummer is the exhibition’s last stop! As much as Preston enjoys loaning his collection out, for the opportunities it creates for learning, research, and enjoyment, I’m sure he’ll be happy to have these paintings return: they are embedded in the fabric of his home and his office.

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Director of Art Education

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