IU Eskenazi Museum of Art Hires Julie Ribits as The Beverly and Gayl W. Doster Painting Conservator


ribits.jpgBLOOMINGTON, February 22, 2019—The Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University has hired Julie Ribits as The Beverly and Gayl W. Doster Painting Conservator. In addition to managing the long-term care and study of approximately 1,200 paintings in the collection, Ribits will oversee the museum’s new Conservation Center.

The paintings in the museum’s collection are primarily European and American, dating from ca. 1500 to the present. Particular strengths include Italian Renaissance and Baroque, nineteenth-century American, and modernist styles such as German Expressionism, Cubism, and postwar abstraction. In 2017, the museum began a $30 million renovation that includes the creation of four centers: Education, Conservation, Curatorial Studies, and Prints, Drawings, and Photographs. The Conservation Center will serve as a state-of-the-art facility for preserving and caring for the museum’s collections, as well as a hub for conservation studies at Indiana University. It will offer unprecedented, behind-the-scenes access to this important aspect of museum work, with extraordinary opportunities for students and faculty to study conservation practices.

Julie will relocate from Saint Louis, Missouri, where she served as Assistant Painting Conservator at the Saint Louis Art Museum. Previously, she was a fellow at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, and has held internships at the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague, Netherlands; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; and the Worcester Art Museum. Julie received her BA in Art and Art History from the University of Minnesota and her MA in Art Conservation from SUNY Buffalo State College.

“I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to work with a dedicated staff toward the long-term preservation of the Eskenazi Museum of Art’s collection. The prospect of contributing to the reopening of the museum is very exciting, and I am eager to help increase the understanding of not only how these cultural objects were created but also how to best preserve them for future generations of students and visitors,” Ribits said upon news of her hire. 

David A. Brenneman, Wilma E. Kelley Director of the Eskenazi Museum of Art, remarked, “We are very fortunate to have Julie Ribits join us as The Beverly and Gayl W. Doster Painting Conservator. As stewards of one of the country’s most significant university art collections, we are tasked with preserving and protecting the objects under our care to ensure that they can be studied and appreciated by generations of students, scholars, and the wider public. Our new Conservation Center highlights our commitment to advancing our mission of being a leader among university teaching museums, and Julie will serve as a teacher and advocate for conservation studies at IU and beyond. We are grateful to Beverly and Gayl Doster for their generosity in funding this important position at the museum.”

Ribits will begin her work at the Eskenazi Museum of Art in March, just as the museum is preparing for its grand reopening in the fall. Beverly and Gayl Doster are long-time supporters of the museum and Indiana University, and they are members of the art museum’s National Advisory Board.

About the IU Eskenazi Museum of Art

Since its establishment in 1941, the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art has grown from a small university teaching collection into one of the most significant university art collections in the United States. A preeminent teaching museum on the Indiana University campus, its internationally acclaimed collection, ranging from ancient gold jewelry and African masks to paintings by Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso, includes more than 45,000 objects representing nearly every art-producing culture throughout history.

The Eskenazi Museum of Art is currently undertaking a $30 million renovation of its acclaimed I. M. Pei–designed building. The newly renovated museum will be an enhanced teaching resource for Indiana University and southern Indiana. The museum is dedicated to engaging students, faculty, artists, scholars, alumni, and the wider public through the cultivation of new ideas and scholarship.

CONTACT: Mariah Keller, Director of Creative Services, kellmari@indiana.edu