President and CEO
Terra Foundation for American Art
Sharon Corwin is President and CEO of the Terra Foundation for American Art, having assumed the role in 2020. Under her leadership, the foundation announced its new guiding mission, vision, and values in 2022 that reflect a commitment to projects that reimagine American art. Previously, she was the Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator of the Colby College Museum of Art. As a leading scholar of American art with a strong interest in modernism and photography, she was also a professor in the college’s art department. Corwin was instrumental in leading the Colby College Museum of Art through a period of significant transformation, which included the expansion of its facilities and the donation of more than 1,600 works of American art by collectors and philanthropists Peter and Paula Lunder. Corwin also led the founding of the Lunder Institute for American Art, a collaborative initiative with the Colby College Museum of Art that supports innovative research and creative production to expand the boundaries of American art.
A graduate of New College of Florida, Corwin earned both her MA and PhD in the history of art at the University of California, Berkeley. Among her published exhibition catalogues, books, and essays is the collection of artist interviews Five American Painters: Conversations with Lois Dodd, Rackstraw Downes, David Driskell, Yvonne Jacquette, and Alex Katz (2020). Additional publications include Alex Katz: Maine/New York (2012), American Modern: Documentary Photography by Abbott, Evans, and Bourke-White (co-authored, 2010), and “Picturing Efficiency: Precisionism, Scientific Management, and the Effacement of Labor” (2003).
Prior to arriving at Colby, Corwin was the Acting Assistant Director at the Mills College Art Museum and, before that, a Faculty Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, where she taught courses in art history and curated exhibitions at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. She was a founding member of Waterville Creates, served on the Maine Arts Commission and the Board of Trustees of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), and chaired the College and University Directors Group of AAMD. She has also served as a mentor for the Center for Curatorial Leadership and currently serves on the boards of the Star of Hope Foundation and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.