New Haven, Connecticut’s Yale School of Art, one of the country’s premier MFA programs, has appointed Kymberly Pinder as their new dean. She will be the first woman of color and the second woman in the school’s 150-year history to hold this post. Pinder will take office as dean on July 1, succeeding Marta Kuzma, who was appointed dean in 2016.
A graduate of Yale, Pinder received her Ph.D. 1995 from the Department of Art History at the University. She is currently the Acting President of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) and was previously Provost and Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs for that institution.
Prior to MassArt, Pinder was dean of the University of New Mexico’s College of Fine Arts and chair of the Department of Art History, Theory and Criticism and director of the graduate program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
In a statement, Pinder said, “The Yale School of Art offers an unmatched platform to promote excellence while creating positive change. I look forward to working with colleagues and students on campus, in town, and around the world to push the boundaries of artistic practice and education. Objects and their production open and shape dialogues in one of the most transformative ways for makers and viewers. “
An expert on wall painting and public art, Pinder is widely known for her work that focuses on race and representation. Your 2016 book Painting the Gospel: Black Public Art and Religion in Chicago examined how images of black people created by black artists have empowered communities in Chicago.
An anthology published by her in 2002, Race-ing Art History: Critical Reading in Race and Art History, is considered to be groundbreaking for his analysis of racial representation throughout art history. This book contained articles by Okwui Enwezor, Linda Nochlin, Bell Hooks, Cornel West, Rasheed Araeen, Anna C. Chave, and others.
“Pinder is well known for her strong teaching commitment, rooted in her belief that education is the key to social mobility and solving local and national challenges,” said Yale President Peter Salovey in a letter to the university community. “It encourages students to strive for excellence and promotes their artistic ambitions, it also teaches them to carefully examine every facet of society.”