Katherine “Katie” Jentleson, PhD, joined the High Museum of Art in September 2015 as the Merrie and Dan Boone Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art. Before she became a curator, Dr. Jentleson worked as an arts journalist in New York. Through her editorial assignments and general experiences at galleries and museums there, she discovered her passion for self-taught artists and their historical legacy in the United States. In 2010, she began her graduate studies in art history at Duke University, where she focused her research on how self-taught artists first “crashed the gates” of the mainstream art world after World War I. She published that research as a peer-reviewed monograph titled Gatecrashers: The Rise of the Self-Taught Artist in America (University of California Press, 2020) and adapted it into a 2021 exhibition at the High.
Dr. Jentleson is the recipient of awards and fellowships from Duke University, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Archives of American Art, and the Dedalus Foundation. She has contributed research and writing to exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art, the American Folk Art Museum, the Ackland Art Museum, the Nasher Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and Prospect New Orleans. Since joining the High, she has overseen half a dozen exhibitions, including most recently Way Out There: The Art of Southern Backroads (2019) and Paa Joe: Gates of No Return (2020). Under her leadership, the collection has grown by more than five hundred objects, including major acquisitions of work by Thornton Dial, Lonnie Holley, the Gee’s Bend quilters, and Henry Church, many of which debuted in the newly expanded and thematically integrated Folk and Self-Taught Art galleries, which opened to the public as part of the Museum’s 2018 reinstallation.
Destinee Filmore recently graduated with a degree in art history and international studies from Spelman College, focusing on a wide range of research interests that include African American expatriate artists, critical museum studies, and sites of memory. Filmore is one of the inaugural recipients of the Alice L. Walton Foundation Art History Scholarship and was selected to represent the Spelman student body during “The Object of Performance—A Conversation among Artists, Curators, and Scholars” at the Clark Art Institute.
Her presentations at several convenings, including the Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellow National Convening and the 2020 Women and Migrations Series hosted by the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, have afforded Filmore opportunities to present her research on various platforms. Presently, she is interning at Sotheby’s in the Old Master Paintings Department and working as a Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellow at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, where she is mentored by the Merrie and Dan Boone Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art, Dr. Katherine Jentleson. Filmore aspires to become a curator and plans to continue her work in advocating for the accessibility of museums and arts-based education programs for low-income students and students of color.