photo credit Joeff Davis
After an extensive search, we are pleased to announce that Karen Comer Lowe has been named the new Executive Director and Chief Curator of Hammonds House Museum. Located in Atlanta’s historic West End neighborhood, the museum is well-known for its thought-provoking exhibitions, culturally rich programming, and impressive permanent art collection. Comer Lowe will be the fourth executive director and first chief curator in Hammonds House Museum’s illustrious 33-year history.
“I am delighted to welcome Karen Comer Lowe as our incoming Executive Director and Chief Curator,” states Imara Canady, Board President of Hammonds House Museum. “Her deep knowledge of Black visual arts, expertise in arts administration, ability to engage with diverse audiences, commitment to arts education, and bold vision for our future, make her the right person to follow the trajectory we are on and take the museum to the next level.”
“As an Atlanta-native and passionate arts professional, I am pleased to return to Hammonds House Museum as Executive Director and Chief Curator,” comments Karen Comer Lowe. “I look forward to continuing the long history of presenting and exhibiting artists of the Diaspora and welcoming all to the museum when we reopen to the public.”
Karen Comer Lowe has garnered a wealth of experience working in curatorial and educational positions in museums, galleries, and arts institutions for over twenty years, such as the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery, the Tubman African American Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. She began her career as the Program Coordinator at Hammonds House Museum from 1996-1998 under the direction of the museum’s first Founder and Executive Director, Ed Spriggs.
Comer Lowe has served as an independent art advisor and appraiser and has developed relationships with The Westminster School, famous personalities, and private clients. She has built connections with artists and arts institutions nationwide. She has curated a number of groundbreaking exhibitions working with artists such as Amy Sherald, Rashid Johnson, Carrie Mae Weems, and Elizabeth Catlett amongst many others. She has lectured about artists and art movements throughout the southeast and given workshops on collecting art throughout the region. In addition, she taught art history classes at Spelman College. Most recently she was the Manager and Curator of the Chastain Arts Center for 12 years. In 2017, Karen received the honor of “Best Curator” in Creative Loafing’s “Best of Atlanta” issue.
During the pandemic, Comer Lowe worked with internationally known artist Hank Willis Thomas in placing the sculpture “All Power to All People” in Atlanta as a stop on its tour throughout the US. In addition, she developed an independent Instagram conversation series with artists and professional arts workers within the African Diaspora; named Creative Conversations. This educational series is planned to engage the broader public in the visual arts, and has included conversations with Hank Willis Thomas, Hebru Brantley, Sheila Pree Bright, Sanford Biggers and others.
Hammonds House Museum is generously supported by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, Fulton County Arts and Culture, the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, The National Performance Network, AT&T and WarnerMedia.
Hammonds House Museum’s mission is to celebrate and share the cultural diversity and important legacy of artists of African descent. The museum is the former residence of the late Dr. Otis Thrash Hammonds, a prominent Atlanta physician and a passionate arts patron. A 501(c)3 organization that opened in 1988, Hammonds House Museum boasts a permanent collection of more than 450 works including art by Romare Bearden, Robert S. Duncanson, Benny Andrews, Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence, Hale Woodruff, Amalia Amaki, Radcliffe Bailey, and Kojo Griffin. In addition to featuring art from their collection, the museum offers new exhibitions, artist talks, workshops, concerts, poetry readings, arts education programs, and other cultural events throughout the year.
Located in a beautiful Victorian home in Atlanta’s historic West End, Hammonds House Museum is a cultural treasure and a unique venue. For more information, and to learn how you can support their mission and programming, visit their website: hammondshouse.org.