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Christina Hellmich

Curator in Charge, Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas and the Jolika Collection of New Guinea Art, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco de Young \ Legion of Honor
Research Interests: 

I joined the staff of the newly re-opened de Young Museum in 2005 and I have worked as Curator in Charge of the Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas since 2011. My area of expertise is Oceanic visual culture.

In my curatorial role, I organize and collaborate on exhibitions, publications, and public programs. Past exhibitions include: Lisa Reihana in Pursuit of Venus [Infected] (2019-2020) co-curated with Claudia Schmukli; Gauguin: A Spiritual Journey (2018-2019) co-curated with Line Clausen Pedersen; Maori Portraits: Gottfried Lindauer's New Zealand, organized by the Auckland Art Gallery, (2017); Royal Hawaiian Featherwork: Nā Hulu Ali‘i (2015) and Embodiments: Masterworks of African Figurative Sculpture (2015).  I served as co-editor and contributed to the exhibition catalogue accompanying Royal Hawaiian Featherwork: Nā Hulu Ali‘i, winner of the Textile Society of America’s 2015 R. L. Shep Award and the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association Ka Palapala Po‘okela award for Illustration/Photography. The catalogue accompanying Embodiments: Masterworks of African Figurative Sculpture was co-edited with Manuel Jordán and I co-authored Gauguin: A Spiritual Journey with Line Clausen Pedersen. Other exhibitions include: Objects of Belief from the Vatican: Art of Africa, Oceania and the Americas (2013), Contemporary Omie Bark Cloth (2012), and Sacred Images and Chiefly Works of Polynesia, (2012).

Other publications include New Guinea Highlands: Art in the Jolika Collection co-edited with John Friede and Terence Hays and winner of honorable mention in the American Association of Museums Publication Design Competition (San Francisco: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 2017). A recent essay, “Carving the Story: Recovering Histories of Sepik Art in the Jolika Collection” is included in Le Journal de la Société des Océanistes,(2018). Other essays include: “Cosmopolitan relationships in the crossroads of the Pacific Ocean,” in a 2015 Bloomsbury publication, Writing Material Culture History, edited by Giorgio Riello and Anne Gerritsen and “A tino aitu figure below the surface” in Nukuoro: Sculptures from Micronesia, edited by Christian Kaufmann, Oliver Wick, Nigel Stephenson, and Nora Scott, published in 2013. My dissertation focuses on indigenous visualities at the Midwinter International Exposition in San Francisco in 1894.

Education and Training: 
M.A. New York University, Liberal Studies, and NYS Certification in Museum Studies
B.A. with Honors and Distinction, University of Rochester, Art History