MIA hires new curator of African, Oceanic and Native American Art

An international search is over, and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) has hired Jan-Lodewijk Grootaers as its new curator of African, Oceanic and Native American Art.

Currently working in Belgium, Grootaers has a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Chicago, according to a MIA release. He is a senior consultant for the Museum für Völkerkunde in Hamburg, Germany, and the Afrika Museum in Berg en Dal, Netherlands.

Grootaers has taught at the Catholic University of Louvain and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, both in Belgium, and for the past three years has worked on an African art and culture exhibition featuring more than 200 objects from dozens of European museums and private collections worldwide.

According to the release, the MIA formed a department in 1971 to focus specifically on objects from Africa, Oceania and the Americas. It started acquiring art from those regions in 1928.

“I am very exciting about moving to the Twin Cities,” Grootaers said in the release. “… I lived for about five years in Chicago, where I learned to enjoy the winter!”

He is expected to begin his duties June 9.