The USC Pacific Asia Museum has named cultural historian Bethany Montagano its new director, the Pasadena institution announced Thursday.
Montagano will begin in May. She succeeds interim director Selma Holo, who led a search committee made up of USC administrators, faculty and artists.
Montagano most recently served as senior curator at L.A.’s Skirball Cultural Center, where she curated the 2018 show “The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited” and the 2016 exhibition “Pop for the People: Roy Lichtenstein in L.A.,” among others. Previously she worked for the Smithsonian Institution and played a role in opening the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Montagano received her bachelor’s degree in Asian studies, her master’s in museum studies and her doctorate in American history.
“This is an exciting time for the USC Pacific Asia Museum, the first U.S. university museum exclusively dedicated to the arts of Asia and the Pacific Islands,” said USC Provost Michael Quick in a statement. “We are sure that Dr. Montagano’s energy and expertise in the museum field will revitalize the exhibitions, programs, and cultural outreach.”