The Nasher Museum opened in 2005 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, most recently 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 Barkley L. Hendricks, Christian Marclay, Wangechi Mutu, Ai Weiwei, Fred Wilson and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. More than 100,000 people visit the museum each year.
The 65,000-square-foot Nasher Museum was designed by architect Rafael Viñoly. 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.
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 2012 Annual Report (54 pages, PDF format – 2.7M)
COVER: Visitors take in Alexander Calder’s Chat-Mobile (Cat Mobile) . Photo by J Caldwell. Alexander Calder, Chat-Mobile (Cat Mobile) (detail), 1966. Painted sheet metal and steel wire, 20 x 26 x 26 inches. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. The Leonard and Ruth Horwich Family Loan (EL1995.10) © 2012 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS).
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)
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Duke students engage with Yinka Shonibare’s 2003 work, Scramble for Africa, an installation that reimagines the Berlin Conference (1884-85) that resulted in a continent separated and parceled out among European powers, creating divisions that led to conflict and bloodshed. The Pinnell Collection, Dallas, Texas. Commissioned by the Museum for African Art, New York. Photo by J Caldwell.
Anita Dube, River/Disease (detail), 1999 (reconfigured 2009). Ceramic eyes mounted on wall, overall height 120 inches (305 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Nature Morte, New Delhi, India.
Northern Indian, Hand mirror, 19th century. Jade, gold, gemstones and mica; 9.125 inches diameter (23.18 cm). © 2006 David Franzen. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai‘i.
Pedro Lasch, Latino/a America (detail), 2003/2013. Mixed-media installation. Courtesy of the artist. Photo by J Caldwell.
Michael Jenkins, Happy Birthday (detail), 1990-1991. Acrylic paint on cardboard with wire. Dimensions variable. Promised gift of Blank Byrne, T’57. L.4.2007.16.
Kehinde Wiley, St. John the Baptist II (detail), 2006. Oil on canvas, 96 x 72 inches (243.8 x 182.9 cm). Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Promised gift of Blake Byrne, T’57; L.6.2011.1. © Kehinde Wiley Studio. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.
Doris Duke and James Cromwell pose by the Jali Pavillion at Shangri La, 1939. Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Historical Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University. Photo by Martin Munkacsi.
Image of Doris Duke at Shangri La by Horst / Vogue; © Condé Nast, 1966
All other photos by J Caldwell
Main green navigation bar for ART:
EXHIBITIONS: 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), 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.
COLLECTION: Iranian, Woman with a Cat (detail), late 18th century. Oil on canvas, 64½ x 34¾ inches (163.8 x 88.3 cm). © Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai’i.
BOARD OF ADVISORS 2012-2013
The national Board of Advisors advises on policy and major fundraising initiatives, and helps to guide the museum’s acquisitions for the permanent collection.
Nancy A. Nasher, L’79, Chair of the Board
Marilyn Arthur, WC ’56, P’79, P’88
Christopher Bass, T’97
E. Blake Byrne, T’57, Chair Emeritus
Trent Carmichael, T’88, P’17
Paula Hannaway Crown, T’80
David J. Haemisegger
Brenda La Grange Johnson, WC’61, P’96
Katherine Thorpe Kerr, T’04
David Lamond, T’97, L’06
Gerrit Livingston Lansing, Jr., T’95
Michael J. Levine, T’84, P’16
Michael Marsicano, T’78, G’78, G’82, P’13
Patricia Roderick Morton, T’77, P’06
Jack H. Neely, T’80, P’06
Katharine Lee Reid
Andrew C. Rothschild
Jason Lewis Rubell, T’91
William L. True, T’77
Derek M. Wilson, T’86, B’90, P’15
Ex Officio members include Peter Lange, Provost; Scott Lindroth, Vice Provost for the Arts; Arthur Rogers, 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; Professor Hans Van Miegroet, Chairman, Art, Art History & 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
FRIENDS BOARD 2013-2014
The Nasher Museum Friends Board focuses on reaching out to new audiences, increasing the museum’s membership and providing ongoing annual support.
Arthur Rogers, President
Henry Sappenfield, Vice President and President-Elect
Stefanie Kahn, Secretary
Virginia (Ginger) Jernigan
Kelly Braddy Van Winkle
FACULTY ADVISORY COMMITTEE 2012-2013
The Faculty Advisory Committee provides a connection to new trends in research and teaching throughout the university and advises on program planning.
Kristine Stiles, Chair, France Family Professor of Art, Art History & Visual Studies
Srinivas Aravamudan, Dean of Humanities
Ian Baucom, Professor of English and Director, Franklin Humanities Institute
Peter Burian, Professor, Department of Classical Studies
Cathy Davidson, Ruth F. Devarney, Professor of English Director, HASTAC, John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute
Scott Lindroth, Vice Provost for the Arts
Thavolia Glymph, Associate Professor, African and African American Studies
William Noland, Associate Professor of the Practice, 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
Victoria Szabo, Assistant Research Professor, Art, Art History & Visual Studies
Ex Officio members include Sarah Schroth, Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director, Nasher Museum of Art; Trevor Schoonmaker, Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Curator of Contemporary Art, Nasher Museum of Art; Marianne Wardle, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Academic Programs, Nasher Museum of Art; Juline Chevalier, Curator of Education, Nasher Museum of Art; Katie Adkins, Assistant Curator of Exhibitions, Nasher Museum of Art; Molly Boarati, Academic Program Coordinator, Nasher Museum of Art.
STUDENT ADVISORY BOARD 2013-2014
The Nasher 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.
Lauren Acampora T’14, Co-Chair 2013-2014
Christina Cansoneri T’14
Emily Eichenberger M’14
Max Feidelson T’16
Megan Friedman T’15
Annalise Johnson T’16
Sujata V Mahtaney T’15
Addison Malone T’15
Marissa Medine T’14
Holly Nichols M’14, T’09
Burcu Ozlar T’15
Kelsey Richards T’15, Co-Chair 2013-2014
Justin Sandulli T’16
Zsofia Solta T’14
Sarah Soltis T’14
Taylor Zakarin T’14
Juline Chevalier, Curator of Education, staff liaison
Trevor Schoonmaker has been named Chief Curator and Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Curator of Contemporary Art at the Nasher Museum. This fall, he won a 2013 Indies Arts Award from INDY Week for his exceptional contributions to the arts in the Triangle.
Schoonmaker joined the Nasher Museum in 2006 as the founding contemporary curator. He curated the nationally touring exhibition Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey (2013), which is traveling to the Brooklyn Museum, as well as The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl (2010), Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool (2008) and Street Level: Mark Bradford, William Cordova and Robin Rhode, (2007). He is the editor of Fela: From West Africa to West Broadway (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003). His previous title at the museum was Patsy R. and Raymond D. Curator of Contemporary Art.
Schoonmaker is a member of the board of directors for the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., in New York.
Juline Chevalier, curator of education, is the president-elect for the North Carolina Art Education Association. She will begin her two-year term as president of the organization in January 2014. Chevalier is also the museum representative-elect for the Southeast Region of the National Art Education Association for 2013-2015.”
The museum received an exciting new $75,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to work with public elementary school teachers and their students in the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years. The NEA grant allows the Nasher Museum’s education department and Durham public school teachers to create visual art and language arts lessons for kindergarten, first- and second-grade students using art from the museum’s collection. The lesson plans and activities meet the Common Core Curriculum Standards (adopted by 44 states) and 21st Century Skills (adopted by 15 states). The materials will be available on a new free website.
Kathleen Wright, special events coordinator at the Nasher Museum, was awarded the lifetime achievement award by the Triangle Chapter of the National Association for Catering and Events for her “exceptional skill, dedication and professionalism” to the industry. Kathy has been a member of NACE since 1997, and has served as Triangle Chapter president, chair of the Chapter Presidents’ Council and on the national board of directors as a Regional Vice President.
Welcome to the Nasher Museum’s website—a new look for a new era in our history!
The outpouring of support and encouragement I received from so many of you when I was named director at in June 2013 was tremendous. I want to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.
As the museum approaches its 10th anniversary in 2015 (truly incredible to imagine), the Nasher Museum is demonstrating renewed dynamism and energy. The staff and advisory boards are filled with fresh ideas and plans. You will begin to see the results in the coming months and years.
We open the 2013 fall season with Doris Duke’s Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape and Islamic Art. Organized by the Doris Duke Foundation to celebrate the heiress’s love of Muslim art and culture and the faraway island estate she built to showcase it, this exhibition will be sure to delight and educate. A few years ago I had the opportunity to travel to Honolulu to see Shangri La and its magnificent setting in Honolulu, and I can tell you that the exhibition now at the Nasher Museum effectively communicates what it feels like to be there. Oversized color transparency photographs of the interiors and exteriors of the home were made specifically for this show, and are juxtaposed with spectacular examples of the Islamic art Doris Duke handpicked to decorate Shangri La. You will fall in love with the rugs, paintings, ceramics and metalware, ornate lamps, furniture inlaid with ivory and more, the same way Doris Duke did, and you will marvel at her spot-on acquisitions.
We are thrilled that the Duke Islamic Study Center, the Muslim chaplain and students, and members of the Islamic communities in the Triangle have embraced this show as an opportunity to educate the public about one of the world’s four major religions and its ancient cultural and artistic tradition. I urge you to check out the beautifully designed mini-website for the show to get a taste of the riches that await you in Doris Duke’s Shangri La.
I also want to invite you to attend the fundraising gala, “A Night at Shangri La,”on Saturday, November 9. The funds raised from this event will enable us to continue to create the kind of programs that have put the Nasher Museum on the regional and national map. But you had better hurry; seats are selling out fast!
The second fall show, Lines of Control: Partition as Productive Space, was originally developed by the not-for-profit organization Green Cardamom in London, and expanded at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University. The curatorial concept investigates contemporary artistic responses to the creation of artificially drawn boundary lines that partition countries and divide families. It was brought to our attention by Duke faculty teaching in the BorderWork(s) Humanities Lab. Chief curator of contemporary art Trevor Schoonmaker adds to the theme with a small exhibition in the front of Pavilion III featuring the work of two local artists, Pedro Lasch and Susan Harbage Page, and African artist Yinka Shonibare, who each has found a unique way to express the randomness and hidden consequences of human-constructed borders. A related project, Defining Lines: Cartography in the Age of Empire, curated by students of the BorderWork(s) Lab, assembles a group of rare maps drawn from the holdings of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke.
The Nasher Museum’s Lines of Control complements the Ackland Art Museum’s parallel exhibition The Sahmat Collective: Art and Activism in India since 1989, which focuses on artistic response to political events in India. The Nasher Museum is delighted to be collaborating with UNC and the Ackland on a number of other programs that promise to dissolve the blue borders between our institutions!
At the end of January, 2014 the Nasher Museum is proud to open Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist organized by guest curator, Richard Powell, the John S. Bassett Professor in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke. Professor Powell has assembled a remarkable group of paintings by Motley, who painted exquisite portraits and exuberant genre scenes of Southside Chicago from the 1920s through 1960s. A major American artist who has long been overlooked, Motley produced works that are the visual equivalents of improvisational jazz, full of rhythm and hot colors. Keep an eye out for the mini-website coming soon—and do not miss this important exhibition under any circumstances!
Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director
Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University