Francesca Consagra, 1958-2018


Francesca Consagra, curator emerita at the Blanton Museum of Art, passed away Dec. 15 after a long battle with ovarian cancer, the museum announced today. She was 60.

Consagra was senior curator of prints and drawings and European paintings at the Blanton from 2012 to 2016.“Francesca was an eminently thoughtful curator, scholar, and thinker,” said Simone Wicha, Blanton Museum of Art director. “Raised in an artistic family, Francesca understood the power of art to enrich lives. Her work throughout her career, which touched topics as varied as Rembrandt’s prints, botanical illustrations, Indian and Buddhist art, and contemporary German drawings, brought light and meaning to both objects and visitors. She was beloved by the Blanton staff, and will be deeply missed.”

At the Blanton, Consagra made key acquisitions to the museum’s encyclopedic collection of prints and drawings and organized critically acclaimed exhibitions such as “Luminous: 50 Years of Collecting Prints & Drawings at the Blanton” and “Portraits During the Reign of George III,” as well as engaging visitor favorites such as “In the Company of Cats and Dogs.”  She also planned the reinstallation for the Blanton’s collections of prints and drawings and European paintings to reinvigorate the gallery experience.

Prior to her tenure at the Blanton, Consagra was the senior curator at The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis, where she organized the exhibitions “Urban Alchemy/Gordon Matta-Clark” and “Reflections of the Buddha.”

Consagra also served curator and head of the Department of Prints, Drawings and Photographs at the St. Louis Art Museum; curator of prints and drawings at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center; and lecturer in the art department at Vassar College.

She was the daughter noted Italian sculptor Pietro Consagra.

She is survived by her husband, William Herndon, and a son, John Ray. Memorial services are pending.

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin
Jeanne Claire van Ryzin
An award-winning arts journalist, Jeanne Claire van Ryzin is the founder and editor-in-chief of Sightlines.

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