Kymberly Pinder has been named the new Dean of the Yale School of Art, among the nation’s most renowned MFA programs. The first woman of color to hold the post, Pinder will succeed Marta Kuzma, who herself succeeded Robert Storr as dean in 2016 and was the first woman to head the institution in New Haven, Connecticut, founded in 1855. as the country’s first art school connected to a university.
Pinder, who obtained his doctorate. from Yale’s Department of Art History in 1995, is currently Acting President of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt). She was previously Senior Vice President and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs at the institution. Prior to joining MassArt, Pinder was dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of New Mexico and was 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. A scholar of murals, race and representation, Pinder is the author of Painting the Gospel: Black Public Art and Religion in Chicago (University of Illinois, 2016), a guide to public art by the city’s black artists; and editor of Race-ing Art History: Critical Readings in Race and Art History (Routledge, 2002).
“The Yale School of Art provides an unrivaled platform to promote excellence while effecting positive change,” said Pinder, who will begin his term on July 1. “I look forward to working with colleagues and students across campus, city, and the globe to push the boundaries of artistic practice and education. Objects and their fabrication unlock and shape the dialogues of some of the most transformative ways for creators and viewers.