Paul R. Provost has joined the museum-loan incubator Art Bridges Foundation as its chief executive officer. Dr. Provost holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in art history and archaeology and worked previously as curator at the New-York Historical Society. He was the director of trusts and estates at Christie’s in New York before becoming deputy chairman. He has taught and lectured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Williams College, and many other esteemed institutions over his decades in the field.
“Paul’s experience as a scholar, curator and business professional will help us develop new partnerships and broaden our reach. This is an exciting time for Art Bridges, and Paul’s expertise will help guide our growth in working with museums and arts organizations to expand access to American art across the country,” said Art Bridges Foundation founder Alice Walton. Art Bridges is a vast operation designed to promote loans and travelling exhibitions in American art. Adjacent to the equally ambitious Crystal Bridges Museum, Art Bridges works with its own collection and a network of museums across the country to shake up artworks that might otherwise languish in storage. By building on its current momentum, Art Bridges is poised to lead an expansive and inclusive conversation around who we are as a nation. Along with Art Bridges’ museum partners and the museum-going public we can begin that discussion with our shared American culture as the communal touchstone.”
The projects that Art Bridges has undertaken already in its young life are impressive. The Foundation worked with the Dallas Museum of Art to exhibit the rarely-scene murals of Edward Steichen; a selection of highlights from the Studio Museum in Harlem; and a show of David Hockney’s Grand Canyon paintings at the Memorial Gallery in Rochester, New York. The interest in American art is far ranging across time and manner, and the institutions working with the foundation range across the map. The “bridge” metaphor serves perfectly this aim of uniting, and Paul Provost’s experience, bridging historical and commercial worlds, will no doubt do the same.