The North Carolina Museum of Art


John W. Coffey: Deputy Director for Art and Curator of American and Modern Art

John W. Coffey came to the North Carolina Museum of Art in 1988 as curator of American and modern art. In this capacity he has overseen the development of the Museum’s collections of American and modern art, as well as the collection of Jewish ceremonial art. Coffey has organized numerous temporary exhibitions. In 1994–97 he served as the statewide director of the Israel/North Carolina Cultural Exchange. He is the staff liaison to the Friends of the Judaic Art Gallery.

In addition to his work as a curator, he now serves as deputy director for art with primary responsibility for the Curatorial, Conservation, and Registration departments and the Art Reference Library. He is adjunct associate professor of art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

A native of Raleigh, Coffey received a BA degree in history and art history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MA degree from the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art. Prior to joining the North Carolina Museum of Art, he was acting director of the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Mass., and curator of collections of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine.

Linda Johnson Dougherty: Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary Art

Linda Johnson Dougherty is chief curator and curator of contemporary art at the North Carolina Museum of Art, where she is currently organizing exhibitions of contemporary art and developing artists’ projects for the Museum Park. She codirected the public art program for the state of North Carolina for several years, and prior to that she was a curator at the Phillips Collection, a research associate at the National Gallery of Art, and a research assistant at the National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.

As an independent curator and critic based in Chapel Hill, she contributed reviews and articles on contemporary art to numerous national art publications. She has also written exhibition catalogues and guest-curated exhibitions for museums and contemporary art centers in North Carolina and throughout the United States. She has a BA in art history from Wesleyan University and an MA in art history from Williams College.

David Steel: Curator of European Art

David Steel is curator of European art at the North Carolina Museum of Art, where he has worked since 1982. He is an adjunct professor of art history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has served as a consultant to the Hickory Museum of Art and the Bob Jones University Museum and Gallery. He has also served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. Steel received his MA and PhD from Bryn Mawr College. He was the recipient of a Whiting Fellowship in the Humanities and a Samuel H. Kress Fellowship at the National Gallery of Art, where he worked for two years before coming to the NCMA.

A specialist in Italian baroque art, Steel has contributed to publications in that field in Italy and in the United States. He has considerably broadened his fields of interest since arriving at the NCMA, organizing and curating exhibitions on a variety of topics ranging from folk and “outsider” art to impressionism, art nouveau, and French sculpture.

Interesting tidbit: He was instrumental in the Museum’s Madonna and Child in a Landscape by Cima da Conegliano becoming the 1993 U.S. Postal Service Christmas stamp.

Dennis P. Weller: Curator of Northern European Art

Dennis P. Weller is curator of Northern European art at the North Carolina Museum of Art. He is adjunct professor of art history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A specialist in 17th-century Dutch and Flemish art, he received his PhD from the University of Maryland in 1992, where he completed his dissertation on Jan Miense Molenaer.

The recipient of a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship in the Netherlands and an Andrew Mellon postdoctoral fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, he was also the first Friends of the Mauritshuis scholar in The Hague. Weller has lectured and written extensively on the art of the Low Countries. His exhibitions include Sinners and Saints, Darkness and Light: Caravaggio and His Dutch and Flemish Followers; Like Father, Like Son: Paintings by Frans Hals and Jan Hals; and Jan Miense Molenaer: Painter of the Dutch Golden Age.

Caroline M. Rocheleau: Curator of Ancient Art

Caroline M. Rocheleau is the curator of ancient art at the North Carolina Museum of Art. A scholar of ancient Egyptian and Nubian cultures, Rocheleau received her PhD in 2005 in ancient Egyptian and Nubian archaeology from the University of Toronto, Canada. She also holds degrees in Egyptology (MA, University of Toronto) and art history (Université Laval, Quebec, Canada). During her studies she worked as a bilingual museum educator at the Musée de la Civilisation (Quebec City) and the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto).

Rocheleau first joined the NCMA as GlaxoSmithKline Curatorial Research Fellow (2005–2006) and continued as GlaxoSmithKline Research Curator of Egyptian Art (2008–2011), working exclusively on the Egyptian collection, one of the least-known and least-studied areas of the Museum’s holdings. Ancient Egyptian Art, the Museum’s first catalogue of the Egyptian collection, published in spring 2012, presents Rocheleau’s rigorous research and hieroglyph translation together with beautiful illustrations. As curator of ancient art, Rocheleau is responsible for Egyptian art as well as the classical, ancient Central and South American, and Oceanic collections.

An active archaeologist, she has excavated in Nubia and Sudan, notably at the Royal City of Meroe with the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto). She currently works at the site of Dangeil with the British Museum, London, UK, and the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museum, Khartoum, Sudan.


Jennifer Dasal: Associate Curator of Contemporary Art

Jennifer Dasal is the associate curator of contemporary art at the North Carolina Museum of Art, where she has been employed since November 2008. She holds an MA in art history from the University of Notre Dame as well as a BA in art history from the University of California, Davis. She has also completed PhD coursework in art history at the Pennsylvania State University. Her research expertise includes contemporary art with a particular interest in women artists. Prior to joining the NCMA, she held positions as assistant to the curator of Western art at the Snite Museum, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, and at the Richard L. Nelson Art Gallery, University of California, Davis. She has additional experience working in commercial art galleries.

As associate curator of contemporary art at the North Carolina Museum of Art, Dasal works primarily with chief curator and curator of contemporary art Linda Johnson Dougherty.  She has been involved in the research, development, and implementation of a number of exhibitions at the Museum, particularly focusing on contemporary art. Dasal also played a role in the organization and reinstallation of the Museum’s permanent collection in the new West Building.

In addition to curating exhibitions and researching collection and acquisition options, Dasal is a frequent contributor to the NCMA’s member magazine, Preview, and the Museum’s blog, Untitled.  

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