Tragic Death of 37-Year-Old Chrysler Museum Curator Amy Brandt

Amy Brandt. Photo by Echard Wheeler.
Image: Courtesy of Chrysler Museum, Norfolk Virginia

Amy Brandt, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Chrysler Museum, has passed away at age 37 after what reports describe as a valiant struggle with her health. Brandt had held the newly endowed position since it was created in 2011, around the same time she was completing her Ph.D. from the Graduate Center at the City University of New York.

She is survived by her husband, David Arthur, and their daughter, Emma, who was born on August 23, 2013.

“Academically distinguished, deeply passionate, and supremely self-confident, Amy embodied the very best of America’s new generation of art historians,” chief curator Jeff Harrison said in a statement on the Chrysler Museum’s website. “It was a joy and a privilege to work with her.”

“A bright light has been extinguished far too early,” museum director Erik Neil said. “The Chrysler will miss her innovative spirit, determination, and passion for art.”

Brandt oversaw the nearly 2,400 works of art that comprise the Museum’s post-1945 holdings of painting, sculpture, and photography. She organized and curated a dozen notable installations and exhibitions. These included the Chrysler’s renovated McKinnon Wing of Modern and Contemporary Art, and shows including “Colorama, Mark Rothko: Perceptions of Being,” “Cities of Light: Photographs from the Chrysler Collection,” “Diamond Dust: An Installation by Judith Braun,” and “Many Wars: Photography by Suzanne Opton.”

The museum said her untimely death came “during what may well mark her greatest professional success.” In April, her show, “Tseng Kwong Chi: Performing for the Camera” opened at the Grey Gallery at New York University.


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