Dr. Heather Campbell Coyle appointed Chief Curator
November 16, 2016
Dr. Heather Campbell Coyle, the Delaware Art Museum’s Curator of American Art since 2009, has been promoted to Chief Curator of the Museum, effective January 1, 2017. Dr. Coyle is an expert on Ashcan School artist John Sloan and The Eight, an influential group of 20th-century American painters. Thanks to the generosity of Helen Farr Sloan (1911-2005), the artist’s second wife and devoted widow, the Delaware Art Museum is home to the largest collection of art by Sloan, as well as the John Sloan Manuscript Collection, a treasure trove of archival materials.
In her new role, Dr. Coyle will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the nine-person Curatorial Department, as well as working with Executive Director and CEO Sam Sweet to develop a long-range vision for the Museum. She will also lead the Museum through a complex project to digitize and make available online the wealth of archival material in the John Sloan Manuscript Collection. Dr. Coyle is currently at work on a Society of Independent Artists exhibition and the first major retrospective of John Sloan’s work since 1988. An American Journey: The Art of John Sloan is scheduled to open at the Museum in October 2017.
Dr. Coyle’s research is focused on three overlapping areas: American painting and illustration (1875-1945), the history of photography, and the intersection of humor and art. She received her Ph.D. in art history from the University of Delaware, where she has taught History of Photography and co-taught a seminar entitled Comic Modern.
She has been an instructor at the Barnes Foundation and has served as the editor and lead author of Howard Pyle: American Master Rediscovered and Fashion, Circus, Spectacle: Photographs by Scott Heiser and co-editor and co-author of John Sloan’s New York. She has curated 28 exhibitions (20 of which were original shows) during her tenure at the Delaware Art Museum, including shows exploring the work of artists such as Leonard Baskin, Harold Edgerton, Gertrude Käsebier, Helen Farr Sloan, Bruce Katsiff, Scott Heiser, Mary Page Evans, Leonard Baskin, Alida Fish, and The Eight.