Press Release - Chad Alligood Named Chief Curator of American Art at The Huntington

March 10, 2017


© Stephen Ironside/Ironside Photography


SAN MARINO, Calif.—The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens announced today that Chad Alligood, curator at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., has been named Virginia Steele Scott Chief Curator of American Art. Alligood, who joins The Huntington in late April, will oversee a growing collection, including a newly acquired group of early American art recently installed in the new Jonathan and Karin Fielding Wing. The American collections at The Huntington are understood to be one of the largest and most significant displays of American art west of the Mississippi.


“We are thrilled to have Chad joining us at this time,” said Kevin Salatino, Hannah and Russel Kully Director of the Art Collections. “Chad’s ambitious accomplishments at Crystal Bridges, and the invaluable experience of working in such an extraordinary collection of American art, have prepared him well for the dynamic nature of our collections and programming at The Huntington. We look forward to having him bring that same level of energy and creativity here.”

Alligood has served as a curator at Crystal Bridges since 2013. Among his standout efforts at Crystal Bridges was a complex, multi-faceted project in which he and former museum president Don Bacigalupi traveled more than 100,000 miles over 10 months to handpick emerging artists for the highly acclaimed 2014–15 exhibition “State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now.” The exhibition garnered the 2015 Excellence in Exhibition award from the American Alliance of Museums.


More recently, he curated “Warhol’s Nature,” exploring Andy Warhol’s lifelong engagement with nature as subject matter. While at Crystal Bridges, Alligood expanded the diversity of the collection, spearheading major acquisitions by women artists and artists of color. He led the reinstallation of the postwar permanent collection galleries in 2015, emphasizing art’s embeddedness within its cultural context.


“As a specialist in art of the West Coast, I have long admired The Huntington’s exceptional collections and storied history,” said Alligood. “The American art collection abounds with narrative potential and exciting possibilities. I look forward to unlocking them for new audiences and getting to know the extraordinary community that comprises The Huntington.”


Alligood, a native of Perry, Ga., earned his bachelor’s degree in the history of art and architecture from Harvard University, his master’s degree in art history from the University of Georgia, and has completed his doctoral coursework at City University of New York. He is a graduate of the Getty Leadership Institute’s NextGen Executive Education Program for the Next Generation of Museum Leaders. Alligood has been awarded several grants and fellowships, including most recently a resident fellowship from the Women’s International Study Center to write an essay for the upcoming monograph on Judy Chicago, to be published by the National Museum of Women in the Arts in 2019.


Before his time at Crystal Bridges, Alligood was at Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., where he served as the Jeanne and Ralph Graham Collections Fellow. He has also taught art history at Brooklyn College. Alligood’s research and exhibitions have focused on American art since 1900, and in addition to the art of the West Coast, his areas of interest include contemporary art, and art of the 1960s and 70s.


He succeeds Jessica Todd Smith, who left The Huntington in 2016 to become curator of American art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


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Susan Turner-Lowe, 626-405-2147,
Thea M. Page, 626-405-2260,


About The Huntington
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About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington. Henry Huntington, a key figure in the...

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