Salvador Salort-Pons joined the Detroit Institute of Arts’ (DIA) curatorial division in 2008. He was appointed the Elizabeth and Allan Shelden Curator of European Paintings and Head of the European Art Department in 2011. Two years later, he added the role of Executive Director of Collection Strategies and Information, overseeing one of the largest divisions in the museum, including the departments of Registration, Collections Management, Conservation, Publications and Information as well as Library and Archives. Salort-Pons organized a number of exhibitions for the DIA, acquired important Spanish works for its collection and played a key role in the conception of the museum strategic plan. Salort-Pons was appointed director, president and CEO in October 2015.
With the 2012 passage of a regional property tax to support the museum and the successful completion of the City of Detroit’s bankruptcy in 2015, Salort-Pons has focused on transforming the DIA into an active and useful organization, engaging the museum’s local and regional communities as well as advancing its international profile. He envisions the DIA as the town square of the community, a shared gathering place, where all will be welcomed and represented. The DIA will be both a place for scholarly research and as a leader in learning and interpretation, providing new knowledge along with ample accessibility and opportunities to all the museum’s varied audiences. Salort-Pons is committed to making the DIA’s extraordinary collection relevant to broad and diverse audiences. Among a number of initiatives, Salort-Pons is working with the curatorial team to expand the museum’s collection of African American Art – already one of the best in the country – recently acquiring works by David Hammons, Wadsworth Jarrell, Hank Willis Thomas and Rashid Johnson.
Prior to coming to Detroit, Salort-Pons was senior curator at the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, assistant professor at the University of Madrid and exhibition curator at the Memmo Foundation/Palazzo Ruspoli in Rome. While at the Memmo Foundation, he co-curated “Il trionfo del colore: Collezione Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza” (Rome, 2002) as well as “Velázquez” (Rome, 2001), the first monographic exhibition on the painter ever organized in Italy. Salort-Pons has been the recipient of a Rome Prize Fellowship at the Spanish Academy of Rome and a research fellow at the Royal College of Spain in Bologna (founded in 1364), the Getty Grant Program, the Medici Archive Project in Florence and Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome, among others.
In addition to two books—”Velázquez en Italia” (Madrid, 2002) and “Velázquez” (Madrid, 2008)— Salort-Pons has published a number of scientific articles in British, Spanish and Italian journals and exhibition catalogues. A native of Madrid, he holds a master’s in geography and history (University of Madrid), a master’s in business administration (Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University) and a doctorate in the history of art (University of Bologna). Salort-Pons is fluent in five languages and recently became American citizen. In June 2016, Salort-Pons was conferred the Order of the Star of Italy, at the rank of Officer, by the Italian government for being a foreign national who aided the promotion and preservation of Italian national prestige abroad.
Follow Salvador on Twitter: @SalvadorSalort