The Bronx Museum of the Arts has hired Eileen Jeng Lynch as its new director of curatorial programs, filling a post that has been vacant since 2019, when Antonio Sergio Bessa, now the museum’s chief curator emeritus, stepped down. She begins at the museum on August 1, around two months before an Abigail DeVille survey that she curated opens there.
Jeng Lynch was senior curator of visual arts at Wave Hill, a public garden in the Bronx that is host to art exhibitions and commissions. Much of Jeng Lynch’s shows there had a focus on the environment, including the institution’s current exhibition “Water Scarcity: Perpetual Thirst,” which considers access to clean water.
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The explicitly political dimension of much of Jeng Lynch’s exhibitions is in keeping with the Bronx Museum’s emphasis on social justice.
“Through an artist-centered and values-driven approach, I am committed to broadening access to the arts through exhibitions and programming that are responsive and community engaged,” she said in a statement. “As The Bronx Museum has a longstanding history of dynamic programs that give voice to the unique individuals who comprise the local community, I am excited to join the team and support the Museum’s continued success both locally and internationally.”
She joins the museum as it celebrates its 50th anniversary and as it plans to grow. In 2025, the museum is set to open a $21 million expansion that will relocate the institution’s entrance and also add street-facing walls on which artworks will be shown.
The museum has been without any full-time curatorial staff since Jasmine Wahi, an influential curator who founded the Project For Empty Space in Newark, departed the Bronx Museum in March after two years as the institution’s inaugural Holly Block Social Justice Curator. In addition to Bessa’s curating of the museum’s current Jamel Shabazz survey, several recent exhibitions have been organized by the museum’s education department.
Director Klaudio Rodriguez said in a statement, “I am confident that her curatorial acumen, in tandem with her extensive expertise stewarding residency programs and community initiatives, will be instrumental in charting a course for the next 50 years of The Bronx Museum.”