The Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College is very pleased to announce the appointment of Solomon Salim Moore as the museum’s new assistant curator of collections. Moore, a multi-dimensional arts professional, comes to the Benton from the Art Institute of Chicago and will join the Benton staff on December 1, 2020.
"We look forward to welcoming Salim back to California and to our new museum,” said Victoria Sancho Lobis, the museum’s Sarah Rempel and Herbert S. Rempel ’23 Director. “Born and raised in Altadena, Salim has built an impressive career in both the curatorial and educational fields. With his wide-ranging curiosity and commitment to museum work, he will be a wonderful addition to the Benton staff. I’m deeply grateful to The William Randolph Hearst Foundation and the Aramont Charitable Foundation, whose support has made this position possible in a time of such marked financial contraction.”
As assistant curator of collections, Moore will be responsible for facilitating access to Pomona College’s permanent collection of more than 15,000 objects—from Native American art to Renaissance panel paintings and from 19th-century prints to contemporary commissions. Moore’s appointment allows the museum to expand many of its established educational programs, including its successful Native American Outreach Program. That program currently reaches third-grade classes in Claremont but can now be extended to Inland school districts around Claremont. In addition to participating in this long-running community engagement, Moore will be collaborating with members of the museum’s staff and Pomona faculty and students to develop and advance research projects and exhibitions related to the collection, reporting to and working closely with Rebecca McGrew, the Benton’s senior curator.
“Pomona College is known for its strong and innovative visual arts program, and the museum has benefited greatly from the experience, knowledge, and creativity of working artists,” said McGrew. “An artist himself, Salim has broad intellectual interests and artistic practices that will serve our varied and expanding collections well.”
Moore has spent the last three years at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he was a graduate fellow in the Department of Learning and Public Engagement and then a curatorial assistant in the Department of Prints and Drawings. He also taught at Marwen, a Chicago organization dedicated to providing free art courses to middle and high school students from under-resourced communities and schools, and he was a teaching assistant at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Before moving to that city for graduate school, Moore worked as an education assistant at the Pasadena Museum of History, a community liaison for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and an intern and volunteer at Side Street Projects, a mobile artist-run organization that supports youth and socially engaged art in the community. He also interned at the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art and served as a gallery attendant at Blue Sky Gallery, a nonprofit photography gallery in Portland. Moore, who received a BA in art from Reed College and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, is also a visual artist who uses drawings, paintings, and printmaking to interpret English ballads, folktales, and myths. He has been an artist-in-residence at Ox-Bow (2018) in Saugatuck, Michigan, and the Chicago Artist Coalition (2019–21).
“I am honored to have the opportunity to join the newly minted Benton Museum of Art,” said Moore. “My relationship to the Claremont Colleges and Claremont Graduate University runs deep because many friends and colleagues received their educations on these grounds, and I’m excited to follow in their footsteps and delve into the collections alongside the students and wider audiences. As someone who is forever in love with museums, I believe that the arts and artists play an influential role in making change and building community, and I look forward to pursuing these goals in and for Claremont.”