Athens, Ga. – The Georgia Museum of Art has announced its new adjunct curator of decorative arts, Dale L. Couch. Couch will direct the museum’s Henry D. Green Center for the Study of the Decorative Arts. The Green Center was founded in 2000 and organizes exhibitions, publications and educational programs that focus on the decorative arts and material culture of Georgia, reaching audiences throughout the Southeast and beyond.
Couch’s first duty at the Georgia Museum of Art will be to present the fifth biennial Henry D. Green Symposium of the Decorative Arts, “Neighboring Voices: The Decorative Culture of Our Southern Cousins,” at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education on Jan. 29-30. Couch will design the installation of the permanent collection of decorative arts in the museum’s new gallery wing and formalize the Henry D. Green Center within the new GMOA humanities research facility, both opening in early 2011. He will develop a major survey exhibition and catalogue of the decorative arts in Georgia, circa 1750-2000, and will oversee the growth of the collection of decorative arts with an emphasis on works made in Georgia, the South and the United States.
“With Dale Couch as our new curator of decorative arts, we look forward to the Green Center attaining even higher levels of success. Mr. Couch has years of experience in the field and, thus, is extremely knowledgeable about the material culture of Georgia and the South, but, even more important, he is enthusiastic and engaged in research and dissemination of that knowledge,” said William U. Eiland, GMOA director
Couch holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of South Carolina, where he also pursued graduate work in art history. He is a graduate of the Archives Institute at Emory University; the Institute for Southern Material Culture at the University of North Carolina/Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts; and completed additional graduate course work at Georgia State University in Atlanta. For 25 years he was the senior reference archivist of the Georgia Archives, where, on many occasions, he assisted researchers for exhibitions at the High Museum of Art, the Atlanta Historical Society and the Georgia Museum of Art, among other institutions.
His previous work with GMOA resulted in award-winning exhibitions, publications and educational programs, including The Savannah River Valley to 1865, for which he was lecturer/essayist, and From Sideboard to Pulpit: Silver in Georgia and New Discoveries in Georgia Painted Furniture which he co-organized with former GMOA curator Ashley Callahan.
Couch’s specialties are migration patterns, colonial records, and furniture history. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts and the Atlanta Historical Society Quarterly, and his work has been cited in reviews in the Journal of Southern History. As a volunteer, he has served on the museum’s Decorative Arts Advisory Committee since 2002. In 2008, Couch received the Governor’s Award in the Humanities from Governor Sonny Perdue.
Couch’s position at the GMOA is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. NEA Recovery Act Grants provide salaries for critical artistic positions that have been threatened or lost due to the economic downturn.The agency has allowed GMOA to extend its grant period over two years, enabling Couch to complete the installation of the museum’s permanent collection of decorative arts in the new gallery wing that will open in 2011, and plan and implement a full schedule of programming for the inaugural year.
Partial support for the exhibitions and programs at the Georgia Museum of Art is provided by the Georgia Council for the Arts through appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The council is a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Individuals, foundations and corporations provide additional museum support through their gifts to the Arch Foundation and the University of Georgia Foundation. The Georgia Museum of Art is located in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex on the East Campus of the University of Georgia. The address is 90 Carlton Street, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602. The museum’s galleries and shop are now closed for construction of the museum’s expansion. Events and programming are continuing while the museum is under construction as part of “GMOA on the Move,” a series of off-site events and exhibitions. For more information and event times and locations, see www.uga.edu/gamuseumor call 706/542-GMOA.