October 16, 2018

Media contacts:

Joseph Martyak

Tel: 808-532-8712


Dr. Theresa Papanikolas will start new position at Seattle Art Museum this fall

HONOLULU, HAWAI‘I—The Honolulu Museum of Art (HoMA) announced today the departure of Dr. Theresa Papanikolas, effective Nov. 8, 2018. Dr. Papanikolas currently serves as HoMA Deputy Director of Art and Programs and will start in January 2019 as the Ann M. Barwick Curator of American Art at the Seattle Art Museum.

“Theresa has been a creative curator and an active member of HoMA’s management team,” said Sean O’Harrow, HoMA Director. “She has led an innovative exhibition program, added greatly to our permanent collection, and successfully transformed both curatorial and education departments into a cohesive unit that better serves our public. We thank her profusely for her decade-long tenure.”

Theresa Papanikolas joined HoMA in 2008 as Curator of European and American Art. Some of her major exhibition projects include From Whistler to Warhol: Modernism on Paper (2010), Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams: The Hawai‘i Pictures (2013), Art Deco Hawai‘i (2014), and Abstract Expressionism: Looking East from the Far West (2017). In addition, she led a comprehensive reinstallation of HoMA’s European and American collections. Earlier this year, she collaborated with the New York Botanical Garden on Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai‘i.

From 2006 to 2008, Dr. Papanikolas was Wallis Annenberg Curatorial Fellow at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where she organized Doctrinal Nourishment: Art and Anarchism in the Time of James Ensor (2008) and helped plan Drawing Surrealism (2012). She has also held positions at the National Gallery of Art, Rice University, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. She has expertise in 19th- and 20th-century art, and has published widely on Dada and Surrealism. She holds degrees in Art History from the University of the Southern California (BA) and the University of Delaware (MA, Ph.D.), and was a 2016 fellow at the Center for Curatorial Leadership.

“The past 10 years at HoMA have been a unique and rewarding challenge in all the best ways. Not only have I had the opportunity to craft a program that has raised the museum’s profile in the fields of European and American art, but I have also been able to do so through a period of profound transformation. Over the years, I have watched HoMA go from being a municipal art museum with an incredible collection to becoming one of the leading cultural institutions in the Pacific Rim. The museum is truly on an exciting trajectory, and I enthusiastically await what’s next.”

HoMA management is currently examining best options for restructuring responsibilities within the Art and Programs department.


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About the Honolulu Museum of Art

One of the world’s premier art museums, the Honolulu Museum of Art presents international caliber special exhibitions and features a collection that includes Hokusai, van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet, Picasso and Warhol, as well as traditional Asian and Hawaiian art.

Located in two of Honolulu’s most beautiful buildings, visitors enjoy two cafés, two shops, gardens, and films and concerts at the theater. The museum is dedicated to bringing together great art and people to create a more harmonious, adaptable, and enjoyable society in Hawai‘i.


Honolulu Museum of Art: 900 S. Beretania Street
Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House: 2411 Makiki Heights Drive
Honolulu Museum of Art School: 1111 Victoria Street
Honolulu Museum of Art at First Hawaiian Center: 999 Bishop Street
Honolulu Museum of Art Doris Duke Theatre: 901 Kinau Street (at rear of museum)


Honolulu Museum of Art: Tues–Sun 10 am–4:30pm; closed Monday.

Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House: Tues–Sun 10am–4pm; closed Monday.

Admission (permits entry to both museums on the same day):

$20 general admission; $10 Hawai‘i residents and active duty military living in Hawai‘i; children 18 and under are free.

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