The Fowler Museum at UCLA has selected Silvia Forni as Director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). She will begin her tenure on December 1, 2022.
Silvia Forni joins the Fowler Museum following her tenure at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), where she served for 14 years as Senior Curator of Global Africa and Deputy Vice President of the museum’s Department of Art and Culture. Forni oversaw ROM’s extensive collection of African art and encouraged its growth by supporting acquisitions of contemporary artworks. She curated and co-curated temporary exhibitions of varying scale and led numerous initiatives that promoted cultural and creative diversity of Africa and its diaspora. The scope of such programs included the recent exhibition “Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art,” which examined Black Canadian identity, and a multi-year project “Of Africa” that encompassed exhibitions, film screenings, and symposia in attempt to explore and challenge historical legacies and contemporary representations of Africa.
Forni served as Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Toronto and taught courses on African art at Ontario College of Art & Design and University of Turin. She is the recipient of numerous grants, including the JHI-UWC Mellon Grant, the SSHRC Partnership Grant, and various fieldwork travel grants to Ghana and Morocco. Forni holds a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from the University of Turin in Italy, a master of arts degree in cultural anthropology from Indiana University, and a doctor of philosophy in cultural anthropology from the University of Turin.
In making the announcement, dean of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture Brett Steele said, “Silvia has been a formidable presence in the world of African and world arts, and we are fortunate to have her join us. This is an exciting time for the Fowler, as we look to the future and strive to reach new audiences with our unparalleled array of exhibitions, programming, and publications. Silvia’s sensitivity to community and extensive experience launching new initiatives and exhibitions will make her an invaluable leader for the museum, the university, and the broader community.”
“I am thrilled to be joining the Fowler, a revered institution for the study and celebration of art and culture from around the world,” said Silvia Forni. “I have worked closely over the years with Fowler curators and other staff and have profound admiration for their work. This is an important time for museums to critically examine their foundation and to rediscover their values as civic institutions. I look forward to working with the Fowler’s team to explore new ways of deepening the museum’s relationship with UCLA and the diverse communities that live in the L.A. metropolitan area and strengthen our role as a space of civic dialogue and social justice.”
“ACG extends its congratulations to the Fowler Museum and to Silvia Forni on her appointment as Director,” said ACG Senior Vice President Wyona Lynch-McWhite. “We were fortunate to work in partnership with the search committee, the office of the dean, and members of the Fowler staff to place a candidate with an outstanding wealth of expertise and passion for public dialogue around the Fowler's collections and mission. Forni’s leadership will guide the museum forward as it continues its path of institutional excellence.”