The Olga Hirshhorn Collection
Part of The Baker Museum Lecture Series
Frank Verpoorten, Director and Chief Curator
The Baker Museum
Gisela Carbonell, Director of Curatorial Affairs
The Baker Museum
Museum Director and Chief Curator Frank Verpoorten and Director of Curatorial Affairs Gisela Carbonell will discuss the recent gift of more than 400 works of art from the Olga Hirshhorn Collection to The Baker Museum. The speakers will address Mrs. Hirshhorn’s eclectic collecting practice, which evolved over the years as an individual endeavor as well as in conjunction with her husband, Joseph Hirshhorn, founding donor of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. Her friendships with Pablo Picasso, his wife Jaqueline, Willem de Kooning and Georgia O’Keeffe, among other towering figures in the history of modern art, make this collection extraordinary. Mrs. Hirshhorn’s unique perspectives on art and artists will be examined in light of this remarkable collection and the exhibition that shares her life’s work with the community.
Frank Verpoorten has over 15 years of experience at cultural institutions and museums in Brussels, Belgium and New York City. Originally from Brussels, Mr. Verpoorten moved to New York City in 2002, where he served in curatorial roles at the Museum of Modern Art, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, the Dahesh Museum of Art and, most recently, as Cultural Attaché for the Representation of the Government of Flanders (Belgium) to the US. In his recent role as Cultural Attaché, Mr. Verpoorten oversaw multidisciplinary cultural programming including exhibitions, performing arts initiatives, lectures, musical concerts and a film program.
Mr. Verpoorten attended the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium and received dual master’s degrees in art history and cultural studies. He held research and curatorial positions at the Museum for Musical Instruments and the Royal Museum for Fine Arts in Brussels before moving permanently to New York in 2002. Mr. Verpoorten is fluent in Dutch and French and also speaks advanced German and Spanish.
Joining The Baker Museum in December of 2012, Mr. Verpoorten relocated to Naples with his wife, Rachel, who is an artist, and their two young sons, Elliot and Morgan.
Gisela Carbonell is an art historian and museum curator. Her work focuses on American and European art of the 20th century with a special interest in art and politics. For almost ten years, Carbonell was Professor of Art History and Humanities at the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey and previously Curatorial Assistant at the Krannert Art Museum in Illinois. Carbonell received a BA in Political Science from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, an MA in Art History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.