Joseph Becherer
Lena Meijer Professor in the History of Art
(616) 632-2409
AMC 203


Joseph Antenucci Becherer is the founding Director and Curator of the Sculpture Program at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He currently serves as Chief Curator and Vice President of Sculpture and Horticulture, Collections and Exhibitions. In addition he is the Lena Meijer Professor in the History of Art at Aquinas College teaching courses in Renaissance, Baroque, Modern, and Contemporary art. Becherer earned a BFA and MFA at Ohio University with a thesis was on Georges Rouault; he continued with a Ph.D. at Indiana University, working under Bruce Cole who advised his dissertation on Pietro Perugino and American collecting. Becherer has authored numerous books, catalogues and articles, and curated many exhibitions. Most recently he has organized exhibitions of Jaume Plensa, Jonathan Borofsky, Jim Dine Andy Goldsworthy, Alexander Calder, Mark di Suvero, Henry Moore, George Segal, Richard Hunt, Auguste Rodin, Magdalena Abakanowicz and Anthony Caro, among others. He is presently preparing a retrospective of Beverly Pepper and the premier American exhibitions of Hanneke Beaumont and Arne Quinze, respectively. Becherer has served on numerous civic art advisory committees including those which commissioned major public works by Dennis Oppenheim and Maya Lin. He was chair of the national committee to commission a sculpture of President Gerald R. Ford for the Rotunda of the US Capitol Building dedicated in 2011. A member of numerous professional organizations, he serves on the executive board of the Midwest Art History Society and advisory boards for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Ox-Bow program, the International Sculpture Center, and the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University. In addition, he authors a monthly column on the visual arts for Grand Rapids Magazine. In 2004, he was knighted by the Republic of Italy with the honor of “Cavaliere nell’ Ordine al Merito” for service to the arts and culture. In 2012, he was juror for the Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture, and will be awarded the Medal of Merit by Ohio University. Becherer lives with his wife and sons in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


  • Ph.D., Indiana University, 2001
  • M.F.A, Ohio University, 1989
  • B.F.A, Ohio University, 1987