Morris Museum names curator for contemporary push

Ronald Labaco has been named curator of the Morris Museum. Photo courtesy of Museum.
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From the Morris Museum:

Morris Museum Announces Appointment of Ronald T. Labaco

as Director of Exhibitions and Chief Curator

The Morris Museum has announced the appointment of Ronald T. Labaco as the institution’s new Director of Exhibitions and Chief Curator. Mr. Labaco will assume his post on Oct. 1, 2018.

Mr. Labaco comes to the Morris Museum most recently from the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in New York City, where he was Senior Curator.

MORRIS MUSEUMHe has also held curatorial positions with the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He holds an MA in Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture from the Bard Graduate Center in New York and a BA in Studio Art from the University of California at Berkeley.

“The Morris Museum is on the cusp of a multi-year pivot, with an increasing emphasis on exhibits of contemporary themes and content, especially in areas of design, sound, and kinetic art,” states Cleveland Johnson, executive director of the Morris Museum.

“Mr. Labaco, whose background prepares him ideally for this challenge, was strategically chosen to help lead our exhibition program in engaging new directions.”

Mr. Labaco’s versatility as an arts professional is demonstrated through his projects at MAD, which include the exhibitions Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital (2013), Wendell Castle Remastered (2015), Japanese Kogei Future Forward (2015), and Studio Job MAD HOUSE (2016), for which he also helped raise significant funding.

Out of Hand was critically acclaimed as the first major exhibition to investigate digital fabrication as a 21st-century international trend in art, architecture, and design, and was one of the most successful exhibitions in the museum’s recent history.

He also brings to the Morris Museum a background with contemporary art galleries in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. These combined experiences have contributed to his interdisciplinary outlook on the arts, which explores creative practice at the intersection of art, craft, and design.

“I feel that my greatest strength is my ability to adapt to the needs and culture of the different institutions for which I have worked, while maintaining a unique perspective,” says Labaco.

“I am thrilled to join the talented staff of the Morris Museum at this exciting time to help develop a compelling exhibitions program that will continue to engage our loyal audiences as well as cultivate new ones.”

About the Morris Museum

Founded in 1913, the Morris Museum is an award-winning, community-based arts and cultural institution serving the public through its exhibitions in the arts, sciences and humanities. The Museum is home to the historic and internationally-significant Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of Mechanical Musical Instruments and Automata. Changing exhibits of contemporary content also explore the Guinness themes of art, sound, and motion. The adjacent Bickford Theatre is the museum’s 312-seat performing-arts facility, offering unique programming, often related to the museum’s exhibition themes. Continuously serving the public since 1913, the Morris Museum has a proud tradition of innovative educational programs and family events. The first museum in New Jersey to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, it has been designated a Major Arts Institution and has received the New Jersey State Council on the Arts’ Citation of Excellence, among other awards.

The Morris Museum is a Blue Star Museum, offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Location & Hours

The Museum is located at 6 Normandy Heights Road (at the corner of Columbia Turnpike) in Morris Township, NJ, and is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm and Sunday, noon to 5 pm. In addition, the Museum is open evenings from 5 to 8 pm on the second and third Thursday of the month. Admission to the Museum is $10 for adults and $7 for children, students and senior citizens. Admission is always free for Museum members. For more information, call (973) 971-3700, or visit http://www.morrismuseum.org.

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