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Toledo Museum of Art Hirsch Curatorial Fellowship awarded to Sophie Ong

Sophie Ong has been named the Hirsch Curatorial Fellow at the Toledo Museum of Art. Created in 2018, the position was named for the Carl and Anne Hirsch family and provides a year-long opportunity to work extensively with TMA’s world-class glass  collection.

Ong is currently completing her Ph.D. in art history at Rutgers University and specializes in the Northern European luxury arts of the late Middle Ages and early modern period, with a secondary concentration in Islamic art and architecture. Ong was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but grew up in England; this fellowship brings her back to her home state.

“Joining the Toledo Museum of Art and learning on-the-ground curatorial skills while working with a collection of such scope and quality will prepare me for the next steps in my career,” said Ong. “I am honored to have been selected for the fellowship.”

The Hirsch Curatorial Fellowship is an important supplement to the Museum’s existing fellowship programs. This new, funded position is designed to introduce the fellow to the curatorial work conducted at the Museum, providing opportunities to plan exhibitions, assist with acquisitions and participate in research and writing related to the glass collection.

“Sophie is exceptionally well-suited for this fellowship, with her rich research background dedicated to art history and the study of objects,” said Diane Wright, interim director of curatorial affairs at Toledo Museum of Art. “Her knowledge of art of the Middle Ages and Islamic art, architecture and decorative arts will greatly benefit the curatorial department as well as visitors to the Museum. We look forward to her joining our team.”

Ong earned her master’s degree in art history from Rutgers in 2017. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College, where she majored in art history and minored in chemistry; she also completed the Museums Concentration with a focus in art conservation. Most recently Ong has been based in Paris, France, at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, where she first held a Samuel H. Kress History of Art Institutional Fellowship and later an Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship.

“Anne and I are very pleased with how well the fellowship program is progressing under Diane Wright’s tutelage. It is exciting to witness this program becoming a win-win situation for TMA and the fellow,” said Carl Hirsch. “We welcome Sophie Ong to Toledo and wish her all the best as she begins her fellowship.”