Salvador Salort-Pons joined the Detroit Institute of Arts’ (DIA) curatorial division in 2008 as assistant curator of European paintings and served as head of the European art department since 2011, adding the role of executive director of Collection Strategies and Information in 2013. He also served as the Elizabeth and Allan Shelden Curator of European Paintings at the DIA and played a key role in the museum’s current strategic planning process. Salort-Pons was appointed director, president and CEO in October 2015, succeeding Graham W. J. Beal, who retired as director on June 30, 2015.
With the tri-county millage in place and the City of Detroit’s bankruptcy successfully completed, Salort-Pons strongly believes the DIA is poised to move forward in engaging the museum’s local and regional communities as well as advancing its international profile. Trained at the DIA in the visitor centered approach and a proponent of it, Salort-Pons plans to continue building on it, making the DIA’s extraordinary art collection relevant to broad and diverse audiences. He envisions the DIA as both a place for scholarly research and as a leader in learning and interpretation, which will provide fresh knowledge, ample accessibility and opportunities to all the DIA’s various audiences. Ultimately, he envisions the DIA as the main square of the community where all will be welcomed, represented and united.
Salort-Pons has organized the DIA exhibitions “Fakes, Forgeries and Mysteries,” and “Five Spanish Masterpieces” and was the in-house curator for the show “Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus,” among others. As European art curator, Salort-Pons strengthened the DIA’s Spanish collection by acquiring important works by artists such as Alonso Cano, Juan Valdés Leal, Juan de Espinosa and Francisco Zurbarán.
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), which was 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, SMU) and a doctorate in the history of art (University of Bologna).
Follow Salvador on Twitter: @SalvadorSalort