Darielle Mason is the Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art and Head of the Department of South Asian Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which received a Project grant in 2014 to reinstall and reinterpret its eight galleries. She holds a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, where she is adjunct professor, and a BA from Williams College. Previously, she was a curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Mason and Dan Spock contributed a conversation to our Questions of Practice library in which they discussed issues of museum accessibility, experiential design, and the influence of digital culture on visitor engagement.
Mason’s curating and writing investigates the impact of context and perspective on works of art. She has curated over fifty exhibitions, including Gods, Guardians, and Lovers: Temple Sculpture from Northern India, A.D. 700-1200, which helped visitors imagine museum fragments in their original ritual-architectural settings; Intimate Worlds: Indian Paintings from the Alvin O. Bellak Collection, which examined the layered history of collecting; and Kantha: The Embroidered Quilts of Bengal, which explored women’s textiles from multiple angles and for which she was awarded the College Art Association’s Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award. In 2016, Mason was lead curator for the transformation of Philadelphia’s Galleries of South Asian Art, designing spaces that use flexible themes to create dialogues across historical, regional, material, and socio-economic boundaries. She is also a member of the curatorial team reinventing the Seattle Asian Art Museum on a similar thematic model.