The Nasher Museum has celebrated its first decade as a major center for the arts on Duke University’s campus and in the surrounding Research Triangle area. The museum organizes and presents leading-edge exhibitions that travel to institutions worldwide, including Southern Accent: seeking the American South in Contemporary Art (2016-17), Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist (2014), Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey (2013), The Vorticists: Rebel Artists in London and New York, 1914-1918 (2010) and Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool (2008). The traveling exhibition El Greco to Velázquez: Art during the Reign of Philip III was named one of Time magazine’s top 10 shows of 2008. The strengths of the museum’s permanent collection are Medieval art, art of the Americas (largely pre-Columbian), Classical Antiquities and modern and contemporary art.

The museum’s contemporary collection features a growing list of artists, including Hank Willis Thomas, Jeffrey Gibson, Carrie Mae Weems, Ebony G. Patterson, Nick Cave, Barkley L. Hendricks, Christian Marclay, Wangechi Mutu, Ai Weiwei, Fred Wilson and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. More than 1 million people have visited the museum since it opened in 2005.


The 65,000-square-foot Nasher Museum was designed by architect Rafael Viñoly and built in 2005. The centerpiece of Viñoly’s modernist design is a dramatic 13,000-square-foot glass-and-steel roof rising to a height of 45 feet above the great hall. Five concrete pavilions fan out from a central courtyard to house three large gallery spaces, auditorium, two classrooms, shop and café. The museum presents a dynamic schedule of programs, including free Family Days, performing arts events, lectures, film series and social gatherings.


The Nasher Museum’s growing permanent collection includes some of today’s best contemporary art, with a rare focus on work by artists of African descent. Other major strengths in the collection include European medieval art, European and American paintings, Outsider art, classical antiquities, African art and ancient American (Pre-Columbian) art. All of this work is featured within The Collection Galleries in Wilson pavilion.


Formerly the Duke University Museum of Art, the museum was founded in 1969 with the acquisition of 200 medieval works from the Ernest Brummer Collection. The museum was housed in a former science building on the East Campus until the new building opened on Duke’s central campus in 2005. The museum was renamed the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, in honor of the late Raymond D. Nasher, Duke alumnus, collector and benefactor.

Mission Statement

The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University promotes engagement with the visual arts for the Duke and Durham communities. The museum is dedicated to presenting innovative and accessible collections, exhibitions, publications and programs that stimulate intellectual discourse, enrich individual lives and generate new knowledge. Drawing on the resources of a leading research university, the museum serves as a laboratory for interdisciplinary approaches.

Strategic Plan

View the Nasher Museum’s current strategic plan .pdf

Annual Report

Nasher 2016 Annual Report

Nasher 2015 Annual Report

Nasher 2014 Annual Report

Nasher 2013 Annual Report


Download the Nasher 2013 Annual Report
(56 pages, PDF format – 2.6M)

Download the Nasher Museum’s 2012 Annual Report
(54 pages, PDF format – 2.7M)

Download the Nasher Museum’s 2011 Annual Report
(29 pages, PDF format – 3.9M)

Download the Nasher Museum’s 2010 Annual Report
(44 pages, PDF format – 3.8M)

IMAGE: Graduate Student Shannan Hayes leads Duke students on a tour of Miró: The Experience of Seeing. Photo by J Caldwell.

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EXHIBITIONS: Thomas Hart Benton, First Crop (detail), 1944. Gouache on paper, 21 x 29 3⁄4 inches (53.3 x 75.6 cm). Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Bequest of Louise and Alvin Myerberg.

COLLECTION: Wangechi Mutu, Family Tree (detail), 2012. Suite of 13, mixed-media collage on paper, 20 x 14.25 inches (50.8 x 36.2 cm). Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Museum purchase with additional funds provided by Trent Carmichael (T’88, P’17), Blake Byrne (T’57), Marjorie and Michael Levine (T’84, P’16, P’19, P’19), Stefanie and Douglas Kahn (P’11, P’13), and Christen and Derek Wilson (T’86, B’90, P’15). Image courtesy of Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. © Wangechi Mutu. Photo by Robert Wedemeyer.


The national Board of Advisors gives advice on policy and major fundraising initiatives and helps to guide the museum’s acquisitions.

Nancy A. Nasher, L’79, Chair
Less Arnold, T’97
Christopher Bass, T’97
Cynthia Brodhead
Blake Byrne, T’57, Chair Emeritus
Trent Carmichael, T’88, P’17
Paula Cooper
Paula Hannaway Crown, T’80
Paula Flood, P’14
David J. Haemisegger
Brenda LaGrange Johnson, WC’61, P’96
Jolie Johnson, P’19
Katherine Thorpe Kerr, T’04
David Lamond, T’97, L’06
Gerrity Lansing, Jr., T’95
Michael J. Levine, T’84, P’16, P’19, P’19
Patricia Roderick Morton, T’77, P’06
Jennifer McCracken New, T’90, L’94
Katharine Lee Reid
Dario Robleto
Jason Lewis Rubell, T’91
Douglas Smooke, T’90
William L. True, T’77
Derek M. Wilson, T’86, B’90


Ex Officio members include Gail Belvett, Chair, Collections Committee; Sally Kornbluth, Provost; Scott Lindroth, Vice Provost for the Arts; Michelle Beischer, Nasher Museum of Art Friends Board President;, Sarah Schroth,  Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director; Richard J. Powell, John Spencer Bassett Professor of American, Afro-American and African Art, Art, Art History & Visual Studies; Sheila Dillon, Chair, Art, Art History and Visual Studies

Collections Committee members include the Nasher Board of Advisors; Frank Konhaus T’80; Kristine Stiles, France Family Professor of Art, Art History & Visual Studies,  Neil McWilliam, Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Art History.


The Nasher Museum Friends Board focuses on reaching out to new audiences, increasing the museum’s membership and providing ongoing annual support.

Michelle Beischer, President
Bryan Huffman, Vice President 1
Karen Rabenau, Secretary
Jesica Averhart
Gail Belvett
Jennings Brody
Ruth Caccavale, A.B.’81, P’11
Ellen Cassilly
Deborah DeMott
Geoff Durham
Felicia Farrar
Elaine Hart-Brothers
Harrison Haynes
Mac McCaughan
Beth Owen
Marjorie Brown Pierson
Doren Madey Pinnell, B.S.’74, M.Ed.’75, Ph.D.’79, P’92, P’08
Susan B. Rosenthal
Henry Sappenfield
Mindy Solie, B.S.’78, M.S.’81, P’10
Wendy Collin Sorin, P’96
Damian Stamer
Tim Warmath, A.B.’84
Marie Washington


The Faculty Advisory Committee provides a connection to new trends in research and teaching throughout the university and advises on program planning.

Jeremy Begbie, Research Professor of Theology, Divinity School
Jasmine Cobb, Assistant Professor, African & African American Studies
Sheila Dillon, Professor, Art, Art History & Visual Studies
Thavolia Glymph, Associate Professor, African & African American Studies
Brigid Hogan, Professor and Chair, Cell Biology
Scott Lindroth, Vice Provost for the Arts & Professor, Music
Neil McWilliam, Professor, Art, Art History & Visual Studies
Richard Powell, John Spencer Bassett Professor of American, Afro-American and African Art, Art, Art History & Visual Studies
Sumathi Ramaswamy, Professor, Department of History
M.J. Sharp, Visiting Lecturer, Documentary Studies
Victoria Szabo, Assistant Research Professor, Art, Art History & Visual Studies
Gennifer Weisenfeld, Professor, Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Dean of the Humanities

Ex officio (Nasher Museum staff):
Sarah Schroth, Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director
Trevor Schoonmaker, Chief Curator and Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Curator of Contemporary Art
Marianne Wardle, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Academic Programs
Marshall Price, Nancy Hanks Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
Molly Boarati, assistant curator of exhibitions
Erin Hanas, academic programs coordinator

NASHER MUSE 2017-2018

Nasher MUSE, the student advisory board, plans student events, hosts “Art for All” evenings and works to bring every Duke student to visit the museum at least once during their time at Duke.

Brittany Halberstadt T’19, Co-chair
Lizzie Zelter T’18, Co-chair

Donovan Bendana T’20
Alexandra Davis T’20
George Elliott T’19
Joyce Er T’20
Marina Frattaroli T’19
Adair Jones T’19
Christy Kuesel T’19
Ashleigh Smith T’20
Maia Walker T’19
Mary Kate Weggeland T’19

Trevor Schoonmaker


Chief Curator Trevor Schoonmaker heads up two projects that are making a major impact on the contemporary art world: Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art (which was on view at the Nasher Museum in fall 2016)  and Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp (P.4), the fourth iteration of the international art triennial Prospect New Orleans. Trevor is Artistic Director of Prospect.4, which will open to the public on Saturday, November 18, 2017, and run through February 25, 2018. Prospect.4 will host VIP Preview Days of the city-wide exhibition on Thursday, November 16,  and Friday, November 17,  with the Opening Gala scheduled for Friday evening, November 17th.

Trevor also co-organized Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art with Miranda Lash at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY. Southern Accent is the first contemporary art exhibition to question and explore in-depth the complex and contested space of the American South. The exhibition opened at the Nasher Museum, where it was on view Sept. 1, 2016, through Jan. 8, 2017, and has traveled to the Speed, where it will be on view April 29 – August 20, 2017.

Since joining the Nasher Museum in 2006 as its first curator of contemporary art, Trevor has been instrumental in developing the museum’s collection of contemporary art.

The BookThe Nasher Museum book, Nasher10: Celebrating a Decade, won a certificate of excellence in the 2016 American Inhouse Design Awards. The national award from Graphic Design USA honored the book among 6,000 entries. Nasher10: Celebrating a Decade also won “Best of Show” in the 2015 Printing Industry of the Carolinas (PICA) awards program. Forty-seven North and South Carolina printers entered 631 pieces in the 2015 PICA awards. At a ceremony in April 2016, the Mac Papers Best of Show award was presented to TCG Legacy from Garner, NC, for printing Nasher10. The book was designed by Rachel Goodwin, graphic designer and web content manager, and edited by Wendy Hower, director of engagement and marketing, at the Nasher Museum. For more information on the book contact wendy.hower@duke.edu.

Beth Perry


Beth Perry is the Nasher Museum’s new Manager of Special Events. Beth has arrived from the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute here at Duke, where she managed special events for nearly five years. Some of you may have met Beth when she coordinated events here at the Nasher for the institute, including a two-day conference and huge retirement party in 2012 for William Chafe, Alice Mary Baldwin Professor Emeritus of History at Duke, and FHI Annual Lecture events. Beth earned a bachelor’s degree in English at New York University and a master’s degree in English from Rutgers University.

Jessica Ruhle

jessicaruhleJessica Ruhle, Director of  Education and Public Programs, has been named “North Carolina Art Museum Educator of the Year” (2014-15) by the N.C. Art Education Association. This annual award recognizes museum educators who creatively engage all museum visitors, including students and teachers. Jessica was honored for her partnership with the East Durham Children’s Initiative and students at YE Smith Elementary School.

As part of the award, Jessica was also recognized for establishing Reflections: The Nasher Museum’s Alzheimer’s Project. This new initiative provides engaging and interactive museum tours to visitors who live with memory loss–and also their families and care partners.  Reflections is already receiving international attention. This year, Jessica was invited to present in Belfast at IdeasLab 2015 on the topic “Dementia, Arts and Culture.” She will also represent the Nasher Museum at the Creative Aging Symposium in Greensboro and at “The Creative Age: Creativity and Aging in America” in Washington, DC.

Jessica has been at the Nasher Museum since 2010. In the Education department, she has been responsible for K-12 tours, teacher workshops and Family Day events. She now leads the Reflections program and directs the gallery guide program.

Marshall N. Price

Marshall N. Price, Nancy Hanks Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Nasher Museum, has received the 2017 Penn State College of Arts and Architecture Alumni Award for Art History. The Penn State College of Arts and Architecture Alumni Society began this award program more than 30 years ago as a partnership with the academic units in the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State.

Happy New Year! This website informs you about our exciting exhibitions, artist visits and fun and interesting new programs for all ages, as well as many other features.

Please don’t miss the final days of our special ticketed exhibition, The Medici’s Painter: Carlo Dolci and 17th-Century Florence. I invite you to peruse the galleries—and I hope you love our gorgeous blue gallery walls—to lean in and take your time to study the exquisitely beautiful paintings by Carlo Dolci. His works recall the perfectionist style of medieval miniatures. This gifted Baroque artist was also a master of light, shadow and composition—the topics of a talk by renowned photographer Burk Uzzle on the final day of the exhibition, Sunday, January 14, at 3 PM.

I am very proud of our ongoing collection show, also on view for a few more weeks: Disorderly Conduct: American Painting and Sculpture, 1960 – 1990. Here, curator Marshall N. Price takes us on an art historical journey over three decades with treasures he found in storage.

I am also proud and deeply honored to be the co-recipient of the inaugural Sotheby’s Prize in recognition of curatorial excellence for our upcoming exhibition Pop América, 1965 – 1975, the first to present a vision of Pop art on both American continents. This generous award comes at a critical time for this ambitious undertaking by the Nasher, a small university art museum that seeks to transform curatorial research by forward-looking faculty into groundbreaking exhibitions.

The headliner for the spring of 2018 will be Solidary & Solitary: Joyner/Giuffrida Collection. Curators Katy Siegel, chair in Modern Art at Stony Brook University and Chris Bedford, the new director of the Baltimore Museum of Art, were also co-curators of the U.S. Pavilion devoted to Mark Bradford in the 2017 Venice Biennale. A unique and highly respected collection, it illustrates the history of art by artists of African descent from the 1940s to the present, with a special emphasis on black abstraction. Pamela has published a weighty catalogue of her collection, lauded on the front page of the Arts section of the New York Times, and covered by other national press.

Our other major spring exhibition has also earned kudos in the press: John Akomfrah: Precarity, a three-channel video installation about the mythological jazz figure Buddy Bolden in New Orleans. Thanks to the generosity of Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger, the Nasher Museum co-commissioned this new work by acclaimed British filmmaker John Akomfrah, who was the 2017 winner of the UK’s Artes Mundi Prize. The artist filmed Precarity on location in New Orleans, where it is featured in Prospect.4.

As a teaching institution, the Nasher is honored to present a special student project, Courtside: Photographs by Bill Bamberger. Four Duke undergraduate students co-curated this exhibition through a Curatorial Practicum class taught at the Nasher Museum by Assistant Curator Molly Boarati. Their terrific efforts will soon be on view in the Incubator, part of The Collection Galleries.

Come and travel with the Nasher! We took a whirlwind journey to New Orleans last fall for the grand opening of Prospect.4, the citywide exhibition organized by Chief Curator Trevor Schoonmaker, three years in the making. Also last fall, an adventurous group from our Director’s Circle toured major art sites in contemporary and Baroque Rome. We are busy planning exclusive access trips to New York and New England area sculpture parks and gardens (October 2018) and also a specially designed trip to Spain (May 2019).

On February 3, please join us in celebrating the opening of the Rubenstein Art Center, a.k.a. “the Ruby,” a spectacular new building across from the Nasher Museum on Campus Drive. We look forward to many programmatic partnerships with the Ruby that involve music, dance, artist residencies and student projects.

Consider signing up for PARLIAMENT at Duke, an amazing performance art piece created by Michael Kliën, associate professor of the practice of dance in Duke’s Dance Program. About 100 participants will gather in an empty gallery at the Nasher every day for four days, six to 10 hours per day. PARLIAMENT involves such simple rules as no talking, no electronic devices, no reading material, all day long. Kliën has presented versions of PARLIAMENT in Amsterdam, Greece, Brussels, London and New York. To find out more, please contact him at michael.klien@duke.edu.

For those of you reading this note from far away, I invite you to explore this website. Browse our collections, listen to the voices of important artists, plan your visit, explore the calendar of events, and read about new research from our curators.

As always, we appreciate your support and could not do it without you. I look forward to seeing all of you at the museum this winter and spring. Please remember that the Nasher is your museum. With your support, the Nasher Museum truly shines through exhibitions, programs, research, publications and experiences that elevate our quality of life.

–Sarah Schroth

Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director
Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

Email: sarah.schroth@duke.edu
IMAGE: Nasher Museum Director Sarah Schroth with Lisa Fischman, Ruth Gordon Shapiro ’37 Director of the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, during the opening of The Medici’s Painter. Photo by J Caldwell.


Nasher Museum exhibitions and programs are generously supported by the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, the late Mary D.B.T. Semans and James H. Semans, the late Frank E. Hanscom III, The Duke Endowment, the Nancy Hanks Endowment, the Courtney Shives Art Museum Fund, the James Hustead Semans Memorial Fund, the Janine and J. Tomilson Hill Family Fund, the Trent A. Carmichael Fund for Community Education, the Neely Family Fund, the E. T. Rollins, Jr. and Frances P. Rollins Fund for the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, the Marilyn M. Arthur Fund, the Sarah Schroth Fund, the George W. and Viola Mitchell Fearnside Endowment Fund, the Gibby and Michael B. Waitzkin Fund, the K. Brantley and Maxine E. Watson Endowment Fund, the Victor and Lenore Behar Endowment Fund, the Margaret Elizabeth Collett Fund, the Nasher Museum of Art General Endowment, the Friends of the Nasher Museum of Art, and the Office of the President and the Office of the Provost, Duke University.