Erin M. Curtis to Serve as Director of Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery

Portrait of Erin M. Curtis, Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Director of the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery

Scripps College has appointed Erin M. Curtis to serve as the Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Director of the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, effective July 10. Curtis assumes the role following the retirement of Mary Davis MacNaughton, who served in the position for 36 years.

“We are thrilled that Erin will be joining the Williamson Gallery and look forward to implementing her new and creative vision,” says Kirk Delman, the gallery’s interim director. “We are confident that her leadership will help the gallery flourish and amplify its impact on our students.” 

A Los Angeles-based curator and historian, Curtis previously served as a curator at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Exposition Park. She also served as the senior curator at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes and as an assistant curator at the Skirball Cultural Center. She has curated numerous exhibitions throughout her career, including ¡Murales Rebeldes! L.A. Chicana/o Murals Under Siege, ¡Ya Basta! The East L.A. Walkouts and the Power of Protest, and The Unauthorized History of Baseball in 100-Odd Paintings: The Art of Ben Sakoguchi.

Curtis received her doctoral degree in American studies from Brown University, where she also obtained a master’s in public humanities. Her dissertation, which examined Cambodian donut shops in Los Angeles in relation to US refugee policy, as well as the history of mass food production and the city’s cultural geography, has led to public appearances on CBS Sunday Morning and in the Los Angeles Times. Curtis was a Smithsonian Institution Predoctoral Fellow at the National Museum of American History. She earned her bachelor’s in English from Pomona College. 

Curtis has recently participated in talks and panels at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Comic-Con, SCI-Arc, the USC Pacific Asia Museum, and the Organization of American Historians. She is the award-winning co-author of  ¡Murales Rebeldes! L.A. Chicana/Chicano Murals Under Siege and has authored or contributed to several other publications. Curtis currently serves as a member of the Strategic Action Committee for the California Association of Museums. She has also volunteered as a DJ at KSPC 88.7 FM in Claremont for more than twenty years.

I am excited to lead the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery as the next Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Director,” says Curtis. “I look forward to building upon the gallery’s legacy as a unique educational resource, connecting its work to local communities as well as broader conversations taking place throughout Southern California, and collaborating with my colleagues to create a welcoming, relevant, vibrant space that reflects its audiences and their stories.” 

Curtis will expand the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery’s exhibitions, programs, and collections in alignment with the gallery’s mission to present and serve diverse artists and audiences and offer an expansive view of artistic practice.

“Erin’s leadership will serve our students as well as our local community,” says Jennifer Armstrong, interim vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty. “We are excited to experience the exhibitions that she will curate, and we encourage our community to engage with the gallery’s programs and offerings.”