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Hunter Museum Curator Retiring
Ellen Simak, chief curator for the Hunter Museum of American Art, is retiring after 25 years of service.
Simak joined the Hunter Museum in August of 1988. In her time at the Hunter Museum, she has helped purchase a number of significant works. The first purchase in her tenure was the George Segal sculpture, “Couple on Two Benches,” which was the inaugural acquisition from the Hunter Acquisition Endowment fund set in place by the Benwood Foundation. One of her recent purchases, a fine painting by African American artist Lois Mailou Jones, was acquired from a 2011 traveling show of the artist’s work which will finally return to the Hunter this summer at the end of the exhibit tour just as Simak is leaving.
Among the exhibits she curated, a 2008 exhibition of the work of Charles Burchfield was the culmination of her admiration for this American master’s work. Simak was an active participant in the reinterpretation of the collection in 2004 and designed the reinstallation of all the historic galleries in the museum at that time.
Simak has an M.A. in art history from the University of Delaware. She also has a B.A. in art history, journalism, and English literature from the University of Minnesota. Prior to beginning her museum career, she worked as a copy editor for the Minneapolis Tribune and an editor for Miller Publishing Company. From 1979-1982 she was the program assistant for the National Federation of State Humanities Councils, after which she returned to school to pursue a degree in art history.
Before accepting the position of curator of collections at the Hunter, she was curator of American Art at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska, from December 1985 to August 1988.
“It has been my privilege to work at the Hunter Museum for almost 25 years,” Simak said. “Over those years, I have seen many changes, all for the good. But one thing that has remained a constant is the wonderful colleagues – on staff, on the board, amongst our volunteers and in the community – with whom I have shared my working life.”
Highlights of Simak’s impressive career include 33 exhibitions that she has organized since 1988 as well as a significant number of acquisitions. Additionally, Simak has published 12 catalogs and other publications, including Volume 2 of the Hunter’s catalog of the permanent collection.
“Ellen is a talented and dedicated curator and it has been an honor and a privilege to work with her,” said Hunter Museum Executive Director, Daniel Stetson. “Her efforts and achievements have made a lasting mark on the Hunter Museum and on Chattanooga. We will miss her, but wish her well on this new chapter of her life.”
Simak has also had an impact on the arts beyond the walls of the Hunter Museum by serving on a variety of community boards and committees including the Public Art Committee, the Arts and Education Council, Ballet Tennessee and a variety of other panels and commissions. She is a member of the American Association of Museums, the Association of Historians of American Art, the College Art Association, and the Southeastern Museum Conference.
“I hope through my work here that I have contributed to the vibrant Chattanooga arts community; I know I have been enriched by the experience.” Simak said.
More Business News
Last Update on September 23, 2014 17:33 GMT
OVERSEAS TAX BREAKS-COMPANIES
NEW YORK (AP) -- A handful of companies pursuing overseas deals that could lower their tax rates are under pressure after the U.S. unveiled rules that would make those deals less lucrative.
The Treasury Department announced new regulations yesterday that would make it less lucrative to pursue a so-called inversion. Under such a deal, an American company buys a foreign firm, then re-incorporates overseas.
The pharmaceutical company AbbVie, based in Chicago, reached an agreement to buy Dublin-based Shire in July for $54 billion. Shares of both companies sank in Tuesday trading. AbbVie lost 2 percent in New York trading, while Shire sank 2 percent in London.
Among other companies getting hit in Tuesday trading, Minneapolis-based Medtronic Inc., which plans to buy Dublin-based Covidien Plc., fell 4 percent. Covidien lost 3 percent. The British drugmaker AstraZeneca, still considered a likely takeover candidate after it successfully rebuffed overtures from Pfizer Inc. earlier this year, slumped 3 percent.
BERLIN (AP) -- The World Trade Organization has sharply reduced its forecast for global trade growth this year, pointing to uneven economic growth in countries including China and the U.S.
The WTO said Tuesday that its economists are now predicting 3.1 percent growth in world trade this year, down from the 4.7 percent forecast in April. They also cut their outlook for 2015 to 4 percent from the previous 5.3 percent.
The Geneva-based body said global trade stagnated in the first six months of this year as a gradual recovery in demand for imports in developed countries was offset by declines in developing countries.
Its director-general, Roberto Azevedo, said that "uneven growth and continuing geopolitical tensions will remain a risk for both trade and output in the second half of the year."
LONDON (AP) -- Further evidence has emerged to show that the economic momentum across the 18-country eurozone is petering out.
In its monthly survey, financial information company Markit says its purchasing managers' index for the eurozone -- a gauge of business activity -- fell to a nine-month low of 52.3 in September from the previous month's 52.5.
Though anything above 50 indicates expansion, the survey found that France remains a laggard.
It also suggested that growth may slow further in the fourth quarter as new manufacturing orders fell for the first time in 15 months.
Markit's chief economist, Chris Williamson, says the danger is that the European Central Bank's recent efforts to stimulate the eurozone economy will "prove ineffective in the face of such headwinds."
BERLIN (AP) -- Greece's prime minister says his country isn't seeking another international financial rescue and has indicated that a new economic reform plan is coming soon.
Since 2010, Greece has relied on two bailout packages totaling 240 billion euros ($308 billion). Payments from eurozone partners are due to end this year while those from the International Monetary Fund conclude in 2016.
After meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said "Greece can now stand on its own two feet and ... we believe we do not require a new support package."
Samaras added that Greece will soon propose "its own framework to continue reforms in the years to come, beyond the timetable of the (bailout) agreements."
Germany has been the single biggest contributor to Greece's bailouts.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- World leaders are promising billions of dollars to take better care of planet Earth at a United Nations summit on climate changes.
The non-binding pledges are coming in response to a challenge from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. At the opening of the one-day summit, Ban said the world needs to set a new course for a warming globe and reverse the rise of heat-trapping gases.
By mid-morning, world leaders had made pledges of at least $5 billion to help the world become more sustainable. And the European Union offered a rare proposal -- specific targets beyond 2020.
The EU says its member nations will cut greenhouse gases so that by 2030 they would be 40 percent below the 1990 level. The vow also calls for using renewable energy for 27 percent of the bloc's power needs and to increase energy efficiency by 30 percent.
NEW YORK (AP) -- More than 30 countries are setting the first-ever deadline to halt deforestation by 2030 to curb global warming.
The United States, Canada and the entire European Union were among 32 countries signing on to a declaration to halve forest loss by 2020 and stop it by 2030 at the U.N. climate summit Tuesday.
But the enthusiasm for the pledge was tempered when Brazil, home to wide swaths of Amazon rainforest, said it would not join.
If the goal is met, the U.N. says it would be the equivalent of taking every car off the road in the world. The group also pledged to restore more than one million square miles of forest worldwide by 2030. Norway vowed to spend $350 million to protect forests in Peru and another $100 million in Liberia.
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