Blog / Mellon Grant Funds Student and Faculty Involvement at Duke’s Art Museum

Posted by Wendy Hower




DURHAM, N.C. — A $500,000, three-year grant has been awarded to the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University to enhance collaborations with faculty and students on teaching, exhibitions and research.

The grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation builds on two previous Mellon Program grants that enabled the museum to create two new positions and triple the number of students visiting exhibitions and art storage areas. Since 2009, Mellon funds helped the museum engage faculty and graduate and undergraduate students with exhibitions and the permanent collection through class installations and publications, internships, summer reading collaborations and the university-wide promotion of visual literacy.

“We are all more than thrilled and grateful that the Mellon Foundation will continue to support our academic programs. It will have a profound impact on teaching and learning at the Nasher Museum,” said Sarah Schroth, the Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director of the museum. “The generosity of the Mellon Foundation will allow us to expand our role as catalyst for Duke faculty — the brain trust of the university — and students across disciplines to study and present our collections. The broader public also greatly benefits from these close collaborations with Duke in many ways.”

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The new Mellon grant will strengthen the museum’s two-person academic program department by the addition of a third position for a part-time graduate teaching assistant. New mini-grants will allow faculty and students to research the museum’s collections for class projects. Each year, the museum hosts more than 2,700 faculty and students for in-depth visits to exhibitions and study storage areas.

Recent exhibitions organized by faculty and students who worked with the academic program department include “Masculinities: Mainstream to Margins” (2014), “Defining Lines: Cartography in the Age of Empire” (2013) and “Exposing the Gaze: Gender and Sexuality in Art” (2013).

The Mellon Program grant period coincides with the completion of Duke University’s seven-year fundraising campaign, Duke Forward, which aims to raise $3.25 billion by June 30, 2017. Every dollar donated to Duke’s 10 schools and units, Duke Medicine, or university programs and initiatives counts toward the goal.

One of the campaign’s priorities is a campus-wide initiative in the arts, with a focus on increasing investment in arts-related programs and people across Duke. The Nasher Museum has a goal of $1 million to endow its department of academic programs.


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The Nasher Museum, at 2001 Campus Drive at Anderson Street on the Duke campus, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday; and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays. Admission (except for ticketed exhibitions) is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and members of the Duke Alumni Association with I.D. card, $3 for non-Duke students with identification and free for children 15 and younger. Admission (except for ticketed exhibitions) is free to all on Thursday nights. Admission is always free for Duke students; admission (except for ticketed exhibitions) is free for faculty and staff with a Duke ID. Admission is also free for Nasher Museum members, with some exceptions for ticketed exhibitions.


Additional information is available at





For more information, contact Wendy Hower at or 919-475-3425.

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