Milwaukee Art Museum
Press Release

Milwaukee Art Museum announces new Curator of American and Decorative Arts

The Milwaukee Art Museum is pleased to announce the appointment of Brandon Ruud as the new Constance and Dudley J. Godfrey Jr. Curator of American Art and Decorative Arts

By - Apr 9th, 2014 12:50 pm

Milwaukee, Wis. – April 9, 2014 –– The Milwaukee Art Museum is pleased to announce the appointment of Brandon Ruud as the new Constance and Dudley J. Godfrey Jr. Curator of American Art and Decorative Arts. Ruud will join the Museum from the Sheldon Museum of Art, University of Nebraska—Lincoln where he has served as the Curator of American Art since 2010 and just completed a series of permanent collection catalogs.

Ruud’s twenty year museum career includes the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska where he began as Assistant Curator in 1998 and worked on a major reinstallation of their American collection, and the Art Institute of Chicago, where he was Assistant Research Curator of American Art for five years. He also worked on the Art Institute’s reinstallation of the American collection before joining the Sheldon Museum of Art.

He has organized dozens of exhibitions, including Apostles of Beauty: Arts and Crafts from Britain to Chicago at the Art Institute (2009) and A Faithful and Vivid Picture: Karl Bodmer’s North American Prints at the Joslyn Art Museum (2002). His subsequent publication, Karl Bodmer’s North American Prints, was awarded a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times in 2005.

“Brandon brings a wealth of expertise and experience to this important position at the Museum, and he impressed everyone here with his passion for American art and his reinstallation experience,” said Brady Roberts, chief curator for the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Ruud holds a B.A., magna cum laude, from the Department of History at the University of West Florida, and a M.A. from the Department of Art and Art History from George Washington University. He is completing his doctoral dissertation on American art at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

“I am honored to join the Milwaukee Art Museum as the new Constance and Dudley J. Godfrey, Jr. Curator of American Art and Decorative Arts,” said Ruud. “As a ten-year resident of Chicago, I frequently visited Milwaukee, and the Museum was a must-stop during those visits. I have long admired the Museum and its collections, feature exhibitions, and programs, and I am thrilled to join the Museum at this exciting moment to participate in the upcoming reinstallation of the American collection.”

Ruud will begin working at the Milwaukee Art Museum later this month.

The Milwaukee Art Museum houses a rich collection of over 30,000 works, with strengths in 19th- and 20th-century American and European art, contemporary art, and American decorative arts, and is the world’s leading repository for work by untrained creators. The Museum campus is located on the shores of Lake Michigan and spans three buildings, including the Santiago Calatrava-designed Quadracci Pavilion and the Eero Saarinen-designed Milwaukee County War Memorial Center. For more information, please visit

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