Amy L. Brandt, a young curator at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, died on May 15, age 37. The cause was not disclosed but was described as “a valiant health struggle.”
Brandt became the Chrysler’s first curator of modern and contemporary art in 2011, just as she was completing her PhD at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. She was responsible for the 2,400-piece modern and contemporary collection. The first exhibition she organized from the collection was “Al Capp, Li’l Abner and American Pop Art” which included 10 comic-inspired prints. Among the other shows she curated during her brief tenure are those on Mark Rothko, Judith Braun, and Saya Woolfalk, as well as the museum’s presentation of the traveling exhibition “30 Americans,” drawn from the Rubell Collection in Miami.
Significantly, in April, her exhibition “Tseng Kwong Chi: Performing for the Camera” opened at the Grey Gallery at New York University, and has received favorable reviews in the New York Times and other publications. The show will travel to the Chrysler in mid-August and then to Tufts University Art Gallery and the Block Gallery of Northwestern University.
Brandt’s dissertation on neo-geo art, titled Interplay: Neoconceptual Art of the 1980s, was published in 2014 by MIT Press. Among the acquisitions she made fro the Chrysler are three of Jeppe Hein’s Geometric Mirrors, Maya Lin’s Caspian Sea, a Nick Cave Sound Suit, and a series of photographic works by Barkley Hendricks, Suzanne Opton, and Robin Rhode.
She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, an MA from Tufts University, and a license in art history from the Sorbonne in Paris. Prior to the Chrysler, Brandt held various positions at the Brooklyn Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, and the American Federation of Arts in New York.
Brandt is survived by her husband, David Arthur, and their daughter Emma, who was born in 2013