Naomi Slipp is Whaling Museum’s new Chief Curator - New Bedford Whaling Museum
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Naomi Slipp is Whaling Museum’s new Chief Curator

July 5, 2021

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. The New Bedford Whaling Museum is pleased to announce the appointment of Naomi Slipp, Ph.D. as the Douglas and Cynthia Crocker Endowed Chair for the Chief Curator. Reporting to President and Chief Executive Officer Amanda McMullen, Slipp will lead the Curatorial, Collections and Library teams. She will partner with Whaling Museum staff and trustees to articulate a vision and strategy for public engagement through a wide range of exhibitions, publications and programs. Slipp joins the Museum on August 30, 2021.

A native to the Southeastern coast of New England, Slipp brings a wealth of curatorial, academic, teaching, and research experience to her role from a career that has combined her interests in art, science, and history.

“Naomi’s appointment marks a critical chapter for the New Bedford Whaling Museum, whose mission is to ignite learning through explorations of art, history, science, and culture rooted in the stories of people, the region, and an international seaport,” said McMullen. “Naomi will play an integral role ensuring the Whaling Museum advances boldly to achieve the its strategic objectives related to themes of ‘Welcome, Engage, Steward, and Thrive.’”

Slipp commented, “I am very excited to be moving home to take up a leadership role at The New Bedford Whaling Museum, a museum I grew up with and that holds special meaning for me. I look forward to working with staff and trustees, and furthering the museum’s vision and strategic initiatives together. I am especially excited to work with colleagues to shape a collaborative vision for tapping collections and facilities to tell new stories that reach the local community in impactful ways, and also connect New Bedford to significant global histories and narratives.”

Slipp comes to the Whaling Museum Chief Curator position from Auburn University at Montgomery, where she has been a tenured Associate Professor of Art History. Slipp also managed the University gallery, and directed the university’s Museum Studies Program. She also serves as an Executive Editor of Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art, and recently concluded a five-year term as the Association Secretary. Slipp has also held positions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Harvard Art Museum, the Terra Foundation for American Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She holds a Ph.D. in art history from Boston University and an M.A. from the University of Chicago.

Having grown up in the region, Slipp is passionate about maritime history and has blended that interest creatively with her studies in art and science. Her research has been wide ranging, with lectures, publications and exhibitions covering topics such as artistic anatomy and 19th-century medicine; “Gilded Age Dining: Eco-Anxiety, Fisheries Management, and the Presidential China of Rutherford B. Hayes”; Winslow Homer’s paintings of fishermen as a reflection of natural abundance and decline; “Picturing Violence: The Amistad Affair, Panorama Painting, and National Identities”; and “Traversing Two Cultures: A Portrait of William McIntosh, Southern Slave Owner and Lower Creek Chief.”

The Whaling Museum retained executive search consultants Museum Search & Reference for the nationwide search.

Evan England
Managing Director, NAIL[PR]
(401) 753-5588

About the New Bedford Whaling Museum
The New Bedford Whaling Museum ignites learning through explorations of art, history, science and culture rooted in the stories of people, the region and an international seaport. The cornerstone of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill in the heart of the city's historic downtown. The Museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free for Whaling Museum members and children ages three and under; adults $19, seniors (65+) $17, students (19+) $12, child and youth $9. For more information visit