Photo courtesy of Julia Siemon.

Bard Graduate Center announces the appointment of Dr. Julia Siemon to the position of director of exhibitions and chief curator, effective July 1. Susan Weber, director and founder of BGC, said, “Julia offers impressive experience as a curator, scholar, and lecturer, and I look forward to working with her to shape the future of exhibitions at Bard Graduate Center.”

A specialist by training in Italian Renaissance art, Siemon most recently served as assistant curator of Paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Prior to that, she was assistant curator for Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, and assistant research curator in the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

For the Getty, Siemon has organized an exhibition on Joseph Wright of Derby, opening in December 2026. The show and accompanying catalogue will offer a critical reassessment of the development of the painter’s signature “candlelight” style. At Cooper Hewitt, her exhibitions included Mr. Pergolesi’s Curious Things: Ornament in Eighteenth Century Britain and Nature by Design: Katagami, focused on historic Japanese textile patterns. In 2021, Siemon was awarded a Getty Paper Project grant for a multi-year research and conservation project dedicated to Cooper Hewitt’s sketches by Jan van der Straet, called Stradanus; that ongoing work is set to conclude with findings shared with the public in 2025.

In 2017, Siemon organized The Silver Caesars: A Renaissance Mystery at the Met, an exhibition on the monumental standing cups known as the Aldobrandini Tazze; she was also editor and co-author of the accompanying scholarly volume. In 2018, The Silver Caesars traveled to Waddesdon Manor in the UK, with Siemon again serving as curator. The exhibitions and publication received acclaim in, for example, the Wall Street Journal, Times of London, New York magazine, Corriere della Serra, Renaissance Quarterly, the Art Newspaper, Apollo Magazine, BBC Culture, the Guardian, and Burlington Magazine.

In addition to her exhibition publications, Siemon has contributed to volumes published by institutions including the British Museum Press, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hill Art Foundation, and the National Museum, Krakow. Topics treated in these works range from the legacy of Dante and Petrarch in Florentine portraiture to the role of the Rothschild family in shaping British taste for the decorative arts. A forthcoming article studies eighteenth-century competition drawings by architecture students at Rome’s Accademia di San Luca.

Siemon regularly presents on her work, having spoken, for example, at the Frick Collection, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Goldsmith’s Company, the Kunsthistorisches Institut, Waddesdon Manor, the Getty, the Met, Master Drawings New York, the International Congress for Eighteenth Century Studies, College Art Association, and the Renaissance Society of America. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from Washington University and a master’s degree and PhD in art history from Columbia University. She has taught frequently at Columbia as an adjunct Core Lecturer and served as a resource for the master’s program in the history of design and curatorial studies at Parsons School of Design, offered in partnership with Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Siemon said, “I am delighted to be joining Bard Graduate Center. I have long admired the institution’s innovative and ambitious exhibitions, publications, and programs, and I am eager to collaborate on future projects with its talented faculty, staff, and students.”