Mint Museum Announces Retirement of Charles L. Mo

Director of Fine Arts and Curator of the Mint’s internationally-renowned Fashion Collection to retire

The Mint Museum is preparing to bid farewell to its beloved and longest-serving curator as Charles L. Mo, Director of Fine Arts and Curator of the Mint’s internationally-renowned Fashion Collection, announces his retirement effective September 30, 2013.

Hired in 1984, Mo was the first professional art historian and curator in the Mint’s history. Over the years he has overseen the museum’s American, European, and Asian art collections, and was responsible for building the Spanish Colonial collection from four items to several hundred works of art. For the last 15 years, he has also served as curator of the Fashion Collection, which has received attention from sources as diverse as Marie Claire magazine, Project Runway judge Nina Garcia’s Pinterest account, and MTV’s fashion blog under his watch. Today, the collection is the museum’s second-largest, and comprises over 10,000 objects that span three centuries.

“These many years at The Mint Museum have blessed me with so many positive and rewarding experiences,” said Mo. “These range from the growth of the collections to the numerous, important exhibitions that have been presented to this great community, and beyond.  I also acknowledge the countless number of museum members, donors, patrons, trustees, board of directors and the incredible staff that bring their talents and experiences to enrich this institution. I am most fortunate and, yet, I shall miss so much of the daily wonders of this great museum. As a most gratifying chapter closes for me, I look forward to a new chapter, its challenges and its rewards!”

During his career, Mo has served as Project Curator for such internationally important exhibitions as Treasures of TutankhamunTreasures of ChatsworthPeru’s Golden Treasures, and Ramesses the Great, among others. He also organized Splendors of the New WorldAllure of East AsiaDressed to ImpressArt of Affluence,Andy Warhol Portfolios: Life & LegendCHANEL: Designs for the Modern WomanFashionable Silhouettes, and Dior, Balmain, Saint Laurent: Elegance & Ease(currently on view at Mint Museum Randolph through January12, 2014), among many others at the Mint. He holds memberships in the American Association of Museum Curators and the Costume Society of America. Mo holds a B.F.A. and an M.A. in Art History from Louisiana State University.

“Charles’ tremendous influence and impact span significant eras in The Mint Museum’s history,” said Cheryl Palmer, the Mint’s director of Learning & Engagement, who has worked with Mo during his entire tenure at the Mint. “He joined the staff when the Dalton wing was under construction in the early 1980s, and the museum was more than doubling in size and literally turning its front entrance “face” to Randolph Road and the community at large. A few years later, Charles served as the museum’s curator in charge for the Ramesses the Great: The Pharaoh and His Time exhibition – a mammoth international undertaking, and a landmark event for the museum and for the city. Over the decades, he supervised major exhibitions of European and American masterpiece paintings, and he curated several important shows of works by Romare Bearden. Charles’ interests are truly global and encyclopedic.”

Annie Carlano, formerly Director of Craft + Design soon to be Senior Curator of Craft, Design, & Fashion, will assume responsibility for the Fashion Collection upon Charles’ departure.  The collections of Native American, Mexican, and Mayan art will also be under her care.  Carlano is uniquely qualified to oversee these specific areas, having been Curator of Costume and Textiles at the Wasdsworth Athenuem, Hartford, CT, and The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as well as Senior Curator at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“Charles has done a remarkable job in building a world class collection of fashion, based on his broad knowledge of costume history, and vast network of contacts,” said Annie Carlano, Senior Curator of Craft, Design, and Fashion.   “The exhibitions he has curated demonstrate his great expertise in all the details that comprise an historic fashion ensemble, from the dress, to the shoes, fan, jewelry, and millinery.  He studies period hairstyles and interprets them so beautifully with white paper.  Something I particularly admire about Charles is his artistry in creating the perfect silhouette for an 18th century robe a l’anglasie or an 1880s ballgown with bustle.”

Jonathan Stuhlman, the Mint’s Curator of American Art since 2006, will assume responsibility for the Ancient Americas, Spanish Colonial, and African Art collections currently under Charles’ purview in his expanded role as Senior Curator of Modern, Contemporary and American Art.

“The Mint Museum has been so fortunate to have Charles as one of its greatest treasures. His influence, wisdom, kindness, and passion will be acknowledged and admired for years to come. The Mint would not be the institution it is today without his leadership, grace, infinite style and profound impact.,” said Dr. Kathleen V. Jameson, President & CEO of the Mint.. “We will also look forward to celebrating Charles in the months ahead, both privately and publicly, and his invaluable contributions during his remarkable 30 year tenure with the museum.”