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MFA bolsters its curatorial ranks

Rembrandt’s “Portrait of Aeltje Uylenburgh,” part of the van Otterloo collection at the Museum of Fine Arts.
Rembrandt’s “Portrait of Aeltje Uylenburgh,” part of the van Otterloo collection at the Museum of Fine Arts.(Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts)

The Museum of Fine Arts bolstered its curatorial ranks with appointments and promotions on Tuesday, including a new position devoted to the extraordinary gift of 17th-century Dutch and Flemish art the museum received from the van Otterloo and Weatherbie families in 2017.

Christopher Atkins will be the inaugural director of the Center for Netherlandish Art, which is set to launch next year. He comes to the MFA from a senior curatorial position at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Ethan Lasser, now at Harvard Art Museums, where he is head of the division of European and American Art, will take on the role of chair of the Art of the Americas department.

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The museum also promoted three current staff to more senior positions: Karen Haas and Kristen Gresh will become senior curators of photographs, and Layla Bermeo will become associate curator of paintings, Art of the Americas.

Atkins begins his role on Aug. 5, and Lasser on Sept. 16. Haas, Gresh, and Bermeo’s appointments are effective immediately.


Murray Whyte can be reached at murray.whyte@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TheMurrayWhyte