Curator and Department Head, European Painting and Sculpture
Lara Yeager-Crasselt (she/her) is a scholar and curator of early modern European art, specializing in painting, sculpture, and tapestry produced in Northern Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. She earned her PhD in art history from the University of Maryland and her BA in history, art history, and French from Vassar College. Her research focuses on artists working in the Southern Netherlands, particularly in and around Brussels, the dynamics of artistic exchange between the Low Countries and Italy, as well as broader issues of artistic mobility, identity, and collaboration. She is the author of the book Michael Sweerts (1618-1664): Shaping the Artist and Academy in Rome and Brussels, published in Brepols’ Pictura Nova series in 2016, in addition to numerous exhibition catalogues and articles in peer-reviewed journals, such as De Zeventiende Eeuw and Dutch Crossing: Journal of Low Countries Studies.
Prior to joining the BMA in September 2022, Lara served as Curator of The Leiden Collection, a private collection of Dutch and Flemish art based in New York, and Co-Editor of The Leiden Collection Online Catalogue. There, she oversaw the collection’s research, loans, and exhibitions, including its global exhibition tour in China, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates. Closer to home, she developed the collection’s focus exhibitions, including recent shows at the Loeb Art Center at Vassar College and a show currently on view at the Timken Museum of Art, Exchanging Words: Women and Letters in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Genre Painting.
Previously, Lara held positions at the Clark Art Institute, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and KU Leuven as a Belgian American Educational Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow. She greatly enjoys teaching and working with students, and has held teaching appointments at various universities and colleges, including as Adjunct Assistant Professor at Vassar College. Lara serves on the Board of the Historians of Netherlandish Art and as Chair of its Mentorship Committee.