Steering Committee/Affiliated faculty

headshot of Claire Kovacs

Claire Kovacs

Vice President for Professionals; Curator of Collections and Exhibitions

United University Professions (UUP); Art Museum


Claire L. Kovacs has curated exhibitions at the Figge Art Museum, Coe College, Krasl Art Center, DePaul University and the Augustana Teaching Museum of Art. Her strategies for curatorial work and programming emphasize the ways that academic museums explore contemporary issues, foster interdisciplinary inquiry, create space for a multiplicity of voices and perspectives, and function as a site of dynamic community engagement. She underscores intersectional equity, diversity, accessibility and inclusion in her curatorial work. Her research practice grapples with ways that it can support 'The Common Good' (to borrow a phrase from the NEH), using curatorial practice and writing as a mechanism by which to amplify under-told stories.

Kovacs participated in the 2018 Getty Leadership Institute’s NextGen program, as well as the NEH/Newberry Library Summer Institute on Art and Public Culture in Chicago. She co-hosted The Gallery Gap, a WVIK (NPR affiliate) podcast that examines in/equity in museum exhibitions, programs and collections.

Her current research focuses on the work of the SisterSerpents, a feminist collective active in Chicago (and beyond) between 1989-1998, and two projects on the Young Lords in Chicago: an exhibition of the visual culture and ephemera of the organization in Chicago and a project that looks at a project where the Young Lords and other community groups teamed up to propose new low-income housing in the rapidly changing cityscape of Lincoln Park, Chicago, in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Outside of her interests in art, Kovacs is an avid gardener (she recently left behind an urban perennial food + native-to-the-county plant oasis), cook (she makes a mean pot o' greens), baker (she is currently working her way through Stanley Ginsberg's The Rye Baker), and fermenter (pickles, sauerkraut, cheese and wine, but never onions — ask her about that failure). She is an avid reader, and her years of looking out windows in the pauses of her writing developed into a bit of a bird-watching habit.


  • PhD, The University of Iowa
  • MA, Case Western Reserve University
  • BA, Case Western Reserve University

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