Jane Milosch is an internationally recognized curator and expert in 20th-century and contemporary art, craft, and design. After graduate studies in Munich on a Fulbright Fellowship and in Michigan, Jane began her museum career in 1990 at the Detroit Institute of the Arts, later moving to the Davenport Museum of Art and the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art in Iowa. Jane served as chief curator at the Renwick Gallery from 2004 to 2008. While there, Jane organized critically acclaimed exhibitions that broke attendance records, including Grant Wood’s Studio: Birthplace of America Gothic and the re-launch of the biennial exhibition series, The Renwick Craft Invitational.
Jane became Senior Program Officer for Art at the Smithsonian in 2008 with responsibilities including leading strategic planning efforts for the arts at the Smithsonian’s eight art museums and archives. After attending the Getty Leadership Institute in 2009, she founded and directed the Smithsonian Provenance Research Initiative, overseeing the Smithsonian’s WWII-era provenance research project. Subsequently, Jane directed the Smithsonian’s German/American Provenance Research Exchange Program for Museum Professionals, the first international partnership to address the challenges of Holocaust-era art provenance research. Her accomplishments won her the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (the highest tribute Germany can pay to individuals for services to the nation).
In 2016 Jane worked to initiate a new interdisciplinary graduate program in provenance studies and the history of collecting with the University of Glasgow, where she is currently Visiting Professorial Fellow in Provenance and Curatorial Studies, School of Culture and Creative Arts.
Jane was a valued advisor to the SWC and the Craft Show in support of raising funds for grants while at the Smithsonian and has continued in that role ever since. She served as a juror of the Craft Show in 2009 and 2018, and as an Awards judge in 2007, 2013, and 2016. In 2016 Jane stepped in at the last minute when an Awards judge was suddenly taken ill. She has consulted with Craft Show leadership on potential jurors and worked with the Awards Committee to recommend and select judges. She was also instrumental in the creation of the Smithsonian Visionary Award, advising the committee as they created protocols for the award. Jane has truly been a godmother to the Smithsonian Women’s Committee and the Craft Show, very much in the tradition of Lloyd Herman and Michael Monroe, her predecessors as chief curators at the Renwick Gallery. She has also been a loyal supporter of both the Craft Show and Craft2Wear, always attending and always dressed stylishly in wearable art. We are glad to count Jane among our Champions!