AARON H. De GROFT, Ph.D.
Director | email@example.com | 757.221.2701
Dr. De Groft received his undergraduate degree in Art History from The College of William and Mary, '88; an M.A. in Art History and Museum Studies with a specialty in contemporary American painting from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina; and as an Appleton Fellow received his Ph.D. in Art History from Florida State University with a specialty in European art from the 15th through the 19th centuries. He has also studied Italian Renaissance and Baroque art history in Florence, Italy.
Aaron De Groft has held professional curatorial and teaching positions at McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina, at Florida State University, at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, and at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Jacksonville, Florida. His current research and publishing interests are in Old Master European art including work on Titian, Peter Paul Rubens and a number of other Italian artists. De Groft is also engaged in focused work on theGilded Age, and American collectors of Old Master paintings, including a major, forthcoming book on John Ringling, the American Circus and business entrepreneur who built one of the most significant European painting collections in the world and then left it to the people of Florida as his grand legacy.
Before returning to The College in 2005, De Groft was the curator and project coordinator of the Fiftieth Anniversary celebration at the Ringling Museum from late 1995 through 1998. He returned as the Deputy Director & Chief Curator at the Ringling in October 2000 as part of the Florida State University/Ringling affiliation where he oversaw the final phases of the $15,000,000 conservation and restoration of the Ringling historic mansion, Cà d’Zan, as well as overseeing the art collection, conservation, the library, education and programs and the Circus Museum.
Under De Groft's leadership the Muscarelle has grown in membership, programming and exhibitions. De Groft’s philosophy of “Museum as Laboratory” has also served well to better integrate the Museum into the daily life of The College.
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