For Students

Joseph Rosa, Director

From the Director

As I begin my tenure as director of the University of Michigan Museum of Art, I am once again struck by what a vibrant intellectual, cultural, and social resource it is and what a critical role it plays for the arts at this great university and across the region. I feel fortunate indeed to be able to lead the Museum through this new era of dynamism and accessibility and look forward to achieving new milestones of collaboration, innovation, and leadership.

Having previously led curatorial departments at several museums and a university gallery in major metropolitan cities around the country, I am equally struck by the wonderful Ann Arbor and University community, which combines big city sophistication with small town warmth. Since its historic transformation and opening of the new Frankel Wing, UMMA blends the ambitions of a larger municipal institution with the scholarly heft and social relevance of the academy to become a new kind of museum.

With the University of Michigan as its parent, UMMA has globalism and excellence in its DNA. Blessed with an incomparable brain trust on which to draw, UMMA is able to pose critical questions, reexamine well-traveled channels of thinking, and contribute meaningfully to the marketplace of ideas. In addition to the breadth of the Museum’s own acclaimed exhibitions and programs, campus and community partnerships animate its spaces with lively arts events every week.

Building on this success, I hope to increase these kinds of initiatives that reach out broadly and bring to UMMA and Ann Arbor an even greater array of past and current global practices and perspectives. Toward this end, I plan to cultivate and strengthen relationships across campus and the region to become a true nexus of collaboration, to raise the profile of the Museum nationally and internationally, and in the process to become a major voice in the evolving discourse on museums, museology, and the arts in higher education. Now is the time to realign and recalibrate the Museum’s mission and goals in order to reflect the institution’s renewed aspirations towards engagement and transparency.

Since my first visit to Ann Arbor last year, I recognized UMMA as a rare and special place with a generous family of stakeholders, benefactors, and alumni who call it their own. Thanks to them, the University, and an exceptionally talented staff, UMMA is a world-class art museum with constituencies across the region and around the country. In the days and weeks to come I am excited to meet all of you who cherish this institution, and I look forward to working together to envision and realize its future.

In particular, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Kathryn Huss, Ray Silverman, and Ruth Slavin, who have expertly steered the Museum over the last year and have made this time of transition truly seamless and pleasurable.

Warmest regards,

Joseph Rosa