The Newberry Library has appointed Paul Durica as Director of Exhibitions, effective January 13, 2020.
Collaborating with Newberry staff, scholars, and educators, as well as cultural institutions and community organizations in Chicago and beyond, Durica will lead the library’s efforts to mount dynamic exhibitions that enable visitors to engage with the Newberry’s rich collection.
“We’re thrilled that Paul Durica will join the Newberry as we revitalize our exhibitions program,” said Newberry President Daniel Greene. “Paul brings a visitor-focused mindset to his work that will help the Newberry use our exhibition galleries to explore themes that immerse people in history and tell engaging stories.”
Durica comes to the Newberry from Illinois Humanities, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. As Director of Programs and Exhibitions there, he developed free public events and exhibitions for audiences across the state. Most recently, Durica helped design and implement a two-year initiative exploring criminal justice issues. The initiative culminated in an exhibition that asked Chicago artists to envision strategies for creating a more just society.
Durica’s involvement in the cultural life of Chicago is extensive. A literary scholar with a focus on Chicago history and culture, Durica previously held positions at the University of Chicago and the Arts Club of Chicago. He has led walking tours, organized historical reenactments, and given lectures on a range of subjects relevant to the city, including the Haymarket bombing, Studs Terkel, and the changing landscape of Chicago’s neighborhoods. He’s also consulted on public programming for the Field Museum, the Chicago History Museum, and the Newberry.
“Throughout his career, Paul has combined scholarship and storytelling to create visitor-centered experiences that illustrate the many ways in which history shapes our lives,” said Alice Schreyer, Vice President for Collections and Library Services at the Newberry. “As Director of Exhibitions, Paul will develop new ways for the Newberry to connect with audiences across Chicago.”