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.
The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University promotes engagement with the visual arts among a broad community including Duke students, faculty, and staff, the greater Durham community, the Triangle region, and the national and international art community. The museum is dedicated to an innovative approach, and presents collections, exhibitions, publications, and programs that attain the highest level of artistic excellence, stimulate intellectual discourse, enrich individual lives, and generate new knowledge in the service of society. Drawing on the resources of a leading research university, the museum serves as a laboratory for interdisciplinary approaches to embracing and understanding the visual arts.
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.
BOARD OF ADVISORS 2017-2018
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
Blake Byrne, T’57, Chair Emeritus
Trent Carmichael, T’88, P’17
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
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; Henry Sappenfield, 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.
FRIENDS BOARD 2017-2018
The Nasher Museum Friends Board focuses on reaching out to new audiences, increasing the museum’s membership and providing ongoing annual support.
Henry Sappenfield, President
Michelle Beischer, Vice President
Bryan Huffman, Secretary
Ruth Caccavale, A.B.’81, P’11
Marjorie Brown Pierson
Doren Madey Pinnell, B.S.’74, M.Ed.’75, Ph.D.’79, P’92, P’08
Susan B. Rosenthal
Mindy Solie, B.S.’78, M.S.’81, P’10
Wendy Collin Sorin, P’96
Tim Warmath, A.B.’84
FACULTY ADVISORY COMMITTEE 2017-2018
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
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, 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.
Welcome to an exciting fall season at the Nasher Museum! The coming weeks are packed with art, programs and ideas that I hope will inspire you to visit us often.
A major discovery is waiting for you at the Nasher Museum: the exquisite work of 17th-century painter Carlo Dolci. Please don’t miss this special ticketed exhibition, The Medici’s Painter: Carlo Dolci and 17th-Century Florence. Duke is the second and final venue for these master paintings, on loan from the Louvre, J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Detroit Institute of Arts and private European collections. We will explore Dolci’s Florentine baroque world through music, food, scholarly talks, tours, workshops with contemporary painters and more. I will give two public talks about Dolci on September 14 and 26.
A second large exhibition this fall brings out treasures from our modern and contemporary collections, many on view for the first time. Curator Marshall N. Price has selected irresistible works of portraiture, abstraction and sculpture for Disorderly Conduct: American Painting and Sculpture, 1960-1990.
I invite you all to come back to The Collection Galleries, where our curators have refreshed installations of European, American, ancient and modern art. You’ll see beautiful works of Medieval stained glass, recently conserved. We are also proud to show off a very important painting by American modernist Archibald Motley, Hot Rhythm, an oil on canvas he painted in 1961, The gift is from two of the artist’s heirs, Dr. Mara Motley and Valerie Gerrard Browne, in honor of Richard J. Powell, Duke’s John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art and Art History, and C.T. Woods-Powell.
Photography is a major focus of our collecting strategy, and that is one reason we are so pleased to partner for the third year with the 2017 Click! Photography Festival. Please join me for the Click! Keynote lecture (on Sunday, October 8) by Anne Wilkes Tucker, one of the world’s most accomplished curators of photography, who will tell us about her life’s work.
As a teaching institution, we are proud of a faculty-student collaboration—three years in the making—that explores the magical city of Venice as it existed more than 500 years ago. Duke art history instructor Kristin Lanzoni and her students created 3-D digital tools to bring out details in Jacopo de’ Barbari’s amazing woodcut print. Kristin brought her students to Venice, where they climbed Franciscan bell towers to experience rare views, entered the military gates of the Arsenal and scoured museums, libraries and archives for material. Their exhibition, A Portrait of Venice, is on view in the Incubator, part of The Collection Galleries.
Please join us in New Orleans (November 16-18) for Prospect.4, the citywide triennial exhibition that was organized by our talented Chief Curator Trevor Schoonmaker. Trevor brings to this project his personal love for New Orleans, a city he has visited since childhood, and also his knowledge of today’s most important artists. Trevor has chosen 73 Prospect.4 artists—and the Nasher Museum has connections with 18 of them.
We continue to celebrate the life of artist and friend Barkley L. Hendricks, who passed away on April 18, 2017. Barkley was a great painter and an amazing human being. About a dozen of Barkley’s large-scale portraits, many of them found in private collections, will be on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art as part of Prospect.4.
I am eager to see all of you at the Nasher Museum this season—museum members, visitors from the Duke and Durham communities and also new faces. Thank you for making the Nasher Museum truly special by supporting the exhibitions, programs, scholarship, publications and experiences that would not be possible without you. Welcome to the Nasher Museum!
Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director
Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
ABOVE: Photo of Nasher Museum Director Sarah Schroth by J Caldwell.