Will South joined the Columbia Museum of Art as chief curator in October 2011. South holds a PhD in art history from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York with a focus on American art and a doctoral minor in Italian Renaissance. His dissertation resulted in the exhibition and publication, Color, Myth & Music: Stanton Macdonald-Wright and Synchromism for the North Carolina Museum of Art, 2001. As a graduate student, he was named the Henry Luce Fellow of American Art. He is widely published as a scholar, is a popular guest lecturer and has taught art history extensively at the college level. Last year, he published Marking the Past/ Shaping the Present: The Art of Willis Bing Davis, an exhibition catalogue on this prominent African-American artist. He has also published widely in the field of American impressionism, including In Nature's Temple: The Life and Art of William Wendt for the Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach, California, California Impressionism for Abbeville Press, 1998; and Guy Rose: American Impressionist, 1995, for the Oakland Museum of California Art. South has curated national traveling exhibitions in American Impressionism and American modern art in addition to organizing exhibitions from museums’ permanent collections. Prior to his role at the CMA, South was the chief curator at the Dayton Art Institute.
South was recently accepted to the Getty Leadership Institute for museum professionals and is a member of the College Art Association and the Association of Historians of American Art.