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Johnson Collection welcomes distinguished NYC museum leaders Thursday

Postma, Panetta to present ‘Making Collections Matter’ at 7 p.m. at Chapman Cultural Center

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Jane Panetta, left, and Jan Postma
2016-02-02

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Johnson Collection will present two New York City museum leaders Thursday, Feb. 4, at the Chapman Cultural Center in the third installment of its “Voices in American Art,” an educational series designed to engage campus and community audiences alike on the subject of fine art in America.

The 7 p.m. program will feature Jane Panetta, associate curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Jan Postma, a Spartanburg native and chief financial officer of the Museum of Modern Art. They will deliver the keynote address titled “Making Collections Matter.” The program is free and open to the public.

The joint presentation will explore the idea of a museum collection, different approaches to collecting both historically and today, and the myriad of ways in which museum collections are used to create a powerful impact. Drawing both on their own experiences and other examples, they hope to engender an active dialogue around the importance of art and art collections, a subject that is particularly relevant for the burgeoning art resources in Spartanburg.

The event represents a homecoming of sorts for Postma and his wife, Panetta. A 1995 graduate of Spartanburg High School, Postma has been with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) since 2001 and was named chief financial Officer in 2008. Before joining MoMA, Postma worked in investment banking at Merrill Lynch. He received an MBA as a Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School and a BA degree in economics summa cum laude from Williams College. He is pursuing an MA in art history at Hunter College.

Panetta joined the Whitney Museum of Art’s curatorial department in 2010 and has been promoted several times, most recently to associate curator in 2015. She served on the curatorial team for “America is Hard to See” (2015), the inaugural exhibition in the Whitney’s new building. Panetta also co-curated “Signs and Symbols” (2012) and worked closely on “Robert Irwin, Scrim Veil – Black Rectangle – Natural Light” (2013). Before joining the Whitney, Panetta spent five years in MoMA’s Painting and Sculpture Department. She holds a BA in history from Haverford College and an MA in art history from Hunter College.

At 3 p.m. on Thursday at the Johnson Collection Gallery (154 W. Main St.), Postma and Panetta will offer an informal master class for local students interested in careers in the arts.

Established in 2002 by Susu and George Dean Johnson Jr., the Johnson Collection has grown to encompass more than 1,000 fine art objects that chronicle the cultural evolution of the American South. In 2014, a feature article in “The Magazine Antiques” lauded the Johnson Collection for “having staged a quiet art historical revolution. Through exhibitions, loans, publications, and institutional partnerships, the collection has redefined, elevated, and greatly expanded the meaning of regional.” For more information about this event or the Johnson Collection’s other initiatives, visit www.thejohnsoncollection.org.