By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Jan 26, 2009 at 12:31 PM

The Milwaukee Art Museum makes some changes to start a new year. Today, the museum announced the addition of new Chief Curator Brady Roberts and a new title -- director of exhibits -- for Laurie Winters.

Most recently, Roberts acted as curator of a gallery space in Santa Fe, N.M. dealing specifically with international art. Previously, he was curator of contemporary and modern art at the Phoenix Museum of Art, executive director of the Dubuque Museum of Art and curator of collections at the Davenport Museum of Art.

In a statement, MAM director Daniel Keegan said, "Roberts brings an exceptional depth of knowledge, scholarly expertise, and an impressive record of curatorial accomplishments particularly relevant to our strengths in post-war visual art."

As chief curator at the MAM, Roberts will lead the museum's professional curatorial staff as well as oversee all research, cataloguing, care and artwork interpretation.

Laurie Winters, curator of the upcoming "Jan Lievens: A Dutch Master Rediscovered" exhibit, is promoted to the newly created position of Director of Exhibitions. Winters has been with the MAM since 1997, specializing in Central European and French painting.

"It is crucial for the museum to focus on its core mission of presenting extraordinary art and experiences to the community. This model of dedicating a position to exhibitions is becoming more prevalent among museums, and this particular position builds on Laurie's obvious strengths in exhibition development," Keegan said.

In 2007, Winters was among 10 U.S. curators selected to attend the Center for Curatorial Leadership, a Columbia Business School program that prepares top curators for positions in museum leadership.

Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr., co-curator of "Jan Lievens" and curator of northern baroque painting at the National Gallery of Art, applauded the appointment stating, "Laurie brings both passion and professionalism to her work, and in doing so, she energizes both her collaborators and the public. I can't imagine anyone who would make a better Director of Exhibitions."

Winters collaborated with international colleagues to organize a number of exhibitions that ranked among the best-attended shows in MAM's history.

"I am excited to be a part of a new curatorial leadership model, and I look forward to building a close partnership with Laurie and creating first-rate art experiences for my new community," Roberts said.

Both Roberts' and Winters' appointments go into effect in March 2009.