Dr. Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser is the Alice Pratt Brown Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (appointed in 2010) where she completed work on the new American Paintings and Sculpture galleries which opened in January 2012. She is currently working on the major exhibition: Thomas Cole’s Journey: Atlantic Crossings, which opens at the Met in January 2018 and the National Gallery, London, in June 2018. Betsy served as the co-curator for the following exhibitions at the Met: Rediscovering Thomas Hart Benton’s “America Today” Murals, 2014; Navigating the West: George Caleb Bingham and the River, 2015; and John Singer Sargent’s Portraits of the Arts: Artists, Writers, Actors, and Musicians, 2015.
She served as the Chief Curator, and Krieble Curator of American Painting and Sculpture at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art from 1997 to 2010. Her special exhibitions (all of which traveled) and accompanying catalogues for the Wadsworth Atheneum include: American Moderns on Paper, (Yale University Press, 2010-11); Neue Welt: Erfindung der Amerikanischen Malerie (New World: Discovering an American Art, 2007), an international project with the Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg, Germany; Samuel Colt: Arms, Art, and Invention (Yale University Press, 2006); Marsden Hartley (Yale University Press, 2003); Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe & American Modernism (Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 1999); New Worlds from Old: 19th-Century Australian & American Landscapes (National Gallery of Art, Canberra, Australia, 1998); Joseph Cornell: Box Constructions and Collages (1997); Thomas Cole: Landscape Into History (1994); and Ralph Earl: The Face of the Young Republic (Yale University Press, 1991). Her catalogue for the Ralph Earl exhibition won the 1992 Frances Tavern Museum Book Award.
Kornhauser has a Ph.D. from Boston University with a specialty in American paintings and an M.A. from Cooperstown Graduation Programs, SUNY, Cooperstown, NY, in American Folk Art and Culture. She has been the recipient of numerous grants, awards and Fellowships from the Henry Luce Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Terra Foundation for American Art, and The American Academy in Rome, among others.