Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Appoints Ian Alteveer as Chair of Contemporary Art

BOSTON (June 13, 2023)—The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), announced today the appointment of Ian Alteveer as Beal Family Chair, Department of Contemporary Art. Alteveer comes to the MFA from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he is currently the Aaron I. Fleischman Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art. He will assume his new role on September 13, 2023, leading a department that advocates for the importance of contemporary artists’ voices in the context of a global museum.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ian Alteveer to the MFA. Ian’s interest in the foundations of contemporary art as well as the evolving present align with our ambitions for presenting and engaging with the art of our time within the MFA’s global collection,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director. We welcome his commitment to connecting art and audience, deepening relationships, and serving our local communities. We eagerly anticipate the energy, sensitivity, and scholarship he will bring to the Museum’s collections and programming.”

Alteveer has 20 years of experience working with contemporary art in museum settings. He first joined The Met in 2006 and was most recently promoted to Aaron I. Fleischman Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art in 2018. Alteveer’s recent projects at The Met include Cecily Brown: Death and the Maid (2023) and Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room (2021–ongoing). Also at The Met and at The Met Breuer, he co-curated the major retrospectives Vija Celmins: To Fix the Image in Memory (2019), David Hockney (2017), Marisa Merz: The Sky Is a Great Space (2017) and Kerry James Marshall: Mastry (2016) and organized three Cantor Roof Garden Commissions. Alteveer has also contributed to the growth of The Met’s contemporary collection, acquiring more than 100 works throughout the course of his tenure that greatly expanded its representation of women artists, LGBTQ-identified artists, and artists of color.

“I am delighted to join the MFA at a pivotal moment in its history when the institution is poised to redouble its commitment to contemporary art,” said Alteveer.  “I look forward to working with such talented colleagues and committed donors to reimagine the Linde Family Wing as a site for a wider community and a place to understand our collective past through the art of the present.”

Established in 1971, the MFA’s Department of Contemporary Art collects and presents art from a wide range of contexts, showcasing local, national and international artists with many distinct backgrounds and lived experiences. The quickly evolving collection increasingly represents contemporary art in all of its iterations, transcending traditional boundaries and hierarchies of media, movement and chronology. Alteveer will lead the department in continuing to deepen and reframe the histories of contemporary art as well as foregrounding narratives and perspectives that have been historically underrepresented at the MFA.

Alteveer has a master’s degree from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University and completed his undergraduate studies at Stanford University. Before joining The Met, he was a graduate curatorial fellow and curatorial assistant at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery. He serves on the board of directors of Artadia, the New York-based non-profit artist grant-maker, and on the board of trustees of Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, Colorado. In 2020, Alteveer was a fellow at the Center for Curatorial Leadership, a training and mentorship program that provides experienced curators with instruction from Columbia Business School faculty and leaders in the museum field to help them guide today’s museums and anticipate future challenges.

About the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The MFA brings many worlds together through art. Showcasing masterpieces from ancient to modern, our renowned collection of nearly 500,000 works tells a multifaceted story of the human experience—a story that holds unique meaning for everyone. From Boston locals to international travelers, visitors from across the globe come to experience the MFA. Through both art and audience, the Museum brings together diverse perspectives—revealing connections, exploring differences, creating a community where all belong.


Karen Frascona