Museum Staff

Katelyn Crawford, PhD

The William Cary Hulsey Curator of American Art

Dr. Katelyn D. Crawford has served as The William Cary Hulsey Curator of American Art since 2017. Kate oversees all aspects of the Museum’s collection of American art, including paintings, sculpture, works on paper, and photography, from the colonial period to 1970. Since joining the BMA, she has curated a number of feature and focus exhibitions including Magic City Realism: Richard Coe’s Birmingham (2018).

Prior to joining the BMA, Kate worked as the Assistant Curator, American Art at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri. At the Nelson-Atkins, she curated a number of exhibitions including Face America (2017), The 1930s in Prints: A Gift to Kansas City from The Woodcut Society (2016), and Drip, Splatter, Wash: American Watercolor, 1860–1960 (2016). She was a member of the curatorial teams presenting American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood (2015) and a focus presentation of Hale Woodruff’s murals painted for Talladega College, drawn from Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College (2015). She also worked extensively with that museum’s Starr Collection of Miniatures. With colleagues in the Nelson-Atkins Education department, she developed a curriculum that taught the content on the Civics portion of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Naturalization Test to new immigrants. Before working at the Nelson-Atkins, Crawford held research fellowships at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Winterthur Museum, and the Yale Center for British Art.

Kate holds master’s and doctoral degrees in art and architectural history from the University of Virginia, where she also taught, and a bachelor’s degree in history and art history from Columbia University. At UVa, she wrote her doctoral thesis on early American portrait painters and their work in the Caribbean. Her research on portraiture and mobility in the British Atlantic world was supported by a number of grants, including a UVa Presidential Fellowship, a Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship in American Art and a Terra Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship. She is an active member of the Association of Art Museum Curators, where she serves on the Membership Committee.