Collin Pressler, a Newcity art section contributor, has been appointed as curator at the International Museum of Surgical Science (IMSS). Pressler’s work in this position will engage with artists and scientific advisors as he manages the production of IMSS exhibitions, overseeing researching, conceptualizing, designing and financing.
Pressler, who has written for Newcity since June 2014, has curated projects previously at the 4th Ward Project Space in Hyde Park as well as at The Chicago Perch, and has additionally overseen exhibitions in various dimensions the past two years at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Along with curating medically oriented exhibitions at IMSS, Pressler will also help grow art programs at the museum, including the Artist in Residence program and “Anatomy in the Gallery.” Justina Doyle, manager of education and events at IMSS, writes, “He will be working diligently to expand our newly opened Pathology exhibit, as well as exhibits on the work of Andreas Vesalius and Cardiology.”
According to Doyle, Pressler will be taking over this curatorial position, which has been part of IMSS for years, from Lindsey Thieman. That said, Pressler’s ambitions include increasing the size and scope of the Contemporary Artist in Residence program, and to weave together what he sees as “three distinct, but closely related elements”—its rich collection of surgical materials, information and records; the historic IMSS building in Lincoln Park; and the Museum community—through recurring programming and valiant exhibitions. “I’d like for our exhibitions and programs to challenge the ways we think about embodiment and the ways we think about and historicize progress and health,” Pressler says. “I believe this is something the arts and sciences are well equipped to do—and our museum represents a unique marriage of the two.”
Both Pressler and IMSS share the same enthusiasm about his upcoming appointment. “It’s an immense privilege to be a custodian of this collection and its public presence,” Pressler says. IMSS concurs: “Museum staff members are very excited to welcome Mr. Pressler. We believe he will bring a new sense of vitality to the Museum and assist us in our overall goal of increasing its visibility worldwide.” (Amy Haddad)