Spotlight: Diana Greenwold

Diana Greenwold was a resident at Hewnoaks in July of 2017 and joined the Board of Directors in August of 2017. She is the Associate Curator of American Art at the Portland Museum of Art, where she recently curated a show called “Model Citizens: Art and Identity in the United States, 1770-1830,” looking at colonial and early federal questions about identity and self-expression. She is currently working on an exhibition of works made during the founding years of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.

Hewnoaks: How did you first hear about Hewnoaks?

Diana Greenwold: I first heard about Hewnoaks through a friend, the Portland sculptor Lin Lisberger, who was a resident at Hewnoaks a few years ago and who described an idyllic week she spent there.

Hewnoaks: Had you ever applied for a residency before, or participated in one?

DG: Because I am a curator, I never really considered the work I do applicable for a residency, so I had not ever applied for one before. Hewnoaks was the first. I am, in fact, extremely grateful to Hewnoaks for recognizing my scholarly work as an art historian as a creative endeavor and something that benefits from time away from the real world.

Hewnoaks: During your week long residency last summer, what were you working on?

DG: I was working on drafting my catalogue essay for the 2019 exhibition that I am co-curating called In the Vanguard: Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, 1950-1969. I came with a suitcase full of books and boxes of primary source material to sift through. I did a lot of sifting and reading and thinking and outlining during my week.

I also did a lot walking and biking and canoeing while thinking.

Hewnoaks: What’s different about doing the work at a place like Hewnoaks compared to working at home or in your office?

DG: Hewnoaks provided me the opportunity to immerse myself in the project in a way that is impossible when I have emails, meetings, babies, husbands, and all the other little things in life constantly vying for attention. The gift of time in a quiet place allowed me focus intensely on a singular project and to indulge in a kind of slow thinking and mulling that rarely happens in my everyday life.

Hewnoaks: Why were you interested in joining the board of directors?

DG: Well, I fell in love with the place when I was there as a resident last summer, but I had also gotten to know the wide variety of projects that Hewnoaks helps support when I served as a juror to help select residents a few summers ago. I had also been interested in the history of Hewnoaks and the artists Douglas and Marion Volk who owned the property since I discovered Sabatos Weavings in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where I had a pre-doctoral fellowship before I moved to Maine. When I was offered the opportunity to help support the  place that had given me so much and that was deeply interesting on a scholarly  level, I jumped at the chance.

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