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Crawford Alexander Mann III Named Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Crawford Alexander Mann III has joined the curatorial staff at the Smithsonian American Art Museum as the curator of prints and drawings. He began work April 3. Mann joins 12 curators currently on staff for contemporary art, photography, sculpture, contemporary craft, folk and self-taught art, Latino art, 19th-century painting, a chief curator who specializes in 20th-century art and a curator of contemporary interpretation.

Mann’s responsibilities include research, exhibitions and acquisitions related to the museum’s collection of prints, drawings and watercolors dating from the 18th century to the present. His research interests include Italian American artistic exchange on the Grand Tour, artists of the American South, the impact of East Asian watercolor and printmaking traditions on American art and the evolving visual constructions of masculinity, femininity and gender.

“Alex brings a global approach to American graphic arts,” said chief curator Virginia Mecklenburg. “His expertise in the relationship between American and international artistic currents, as well as the reciprocal influences among graphic arts, painting and sculpture will enrich the museum’s presentation of exceptional prints and drawings. We are delighted to welcome him.”

Before joining the museum staff, Mann was the Joan and Macon Brock Curator of American Art at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Va., from 2011 to 2017. While there he curated exhibitions about Abraham Lincoln, Georgia O’Keeffe and the civil rights movement, as well as oversaw a full reinstallation of the museum’s American art galleries, which reopened in 2014.

Mann earned a bachelor’s degree in art history and religious studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2002. He received a master’s degree in art history in 2003 and a master’s degree in philosophy from Yale University in 2005. He was a Terra Foundation Predoctoral Fellow in American Art at SAAM in 2008. Currently, he is a doctoral candidate at Yale University where he is completing his dissertation titled “When in Rome: Italian Travel and the Pursuit of the Ideal Male Body in Antebellum American Art.”

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