null Oliver  Shell
Photo by Christopher Myers

Oliver Shell

Curator of European Painting and Sculpture


Dr. Oliver Shell received a PhD in art history at the University of Pennsylvania. He came to BMA in 2003 as the Samuel H. Kress Curatorial Fellow, then as a National Gallery of Art: Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts Fellow, researching 19th- and early 20th-century French bronze production and, specifically, the casting practice of Henri Matisse. This work led to the 2007 BMA exhibition Matisse: Painter as Sculptor, presented at the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center.

Since 2007, as Associate Curator of European Painting and Sculpture, Oliver has organized exhibitions including: The Persistent Figure in Modern Sculpture, 2006/2007; Rodin: Expression and Influence, 2007; A Circus Family: Picasso to Léger, 2009; Advancing Abstraction in Modern Sculpture, 2010/2011; and German Expressionism: A Revolutionary Spirit, 2014. Curator of European Painting and Sculpture since 2019, his recent exhibitions include: Monsters and Myths: Surrealism and War in the 1930s and 1940s, which ran at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, CT, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Frist Art Museum in Nashville.