University of Michigan. Museum of Art.

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The University of Michigan Museum of Art serves as a research and teaching facility for the university and surrounding communities.

Systematic collecting of works of art began in 1855 at the University, and the Museum of Art, established as a separate unit in 1946, has continued to acquire pieces for its collection and develop special exhibitions and programming.

From the description of Museum of Art (University of Michigan) records, 1946-2003. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 85778519

The University of Michigan Museum of Art serves as a research and teaching facility for the University and surrounding communities.

Systematic collecting of works of art began in 1855 at the University, and the Museum of Art, established as a separate unit in 1946, has continued to acquire pieces for its collection and develop special exhibitions and programming.

From the description of Museum of Art (University of Michigan) photograph series. 1913-2000 (scattered) (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 702904544

The University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) houses the second largest art collection in the state of Michigan, offering a rich permanent collection supplemented by an active special exhibition program. In addition, the many and varying art collections assist in teaching at the university. The collections of Chinese and Japanese paintings and ceramics; Old Master and contemporary prints and drawings; and Whistler prints are particularly strong.

The museum was established in its present form in 1946. The University Regents declared in November 1945 that the Museum of Art and Archaeology be abolished and that two separate units (the Museum of Art and the Museum of Archaeology) take its place. At their January 1946 meeting, the Regents further stipulated that the Museum of Art be maintained as "a separate administrative unit for the purpose of collection, conservation, study and exhibition of works of art and the preparation of publications with respect thereunto." The university's art collections had their origins long before 1946, however. Early systematic collecting began in 1855 when Professor Henry S. Frieze purchased a number of art works, chiefly engravings and plaster casts, to illustrate his courses in classical art and archaeology. In 1862 Frieze was instrumental in acquiring the university's first significant original work of art, Randolph Rogers' Nydia, the Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii.

The collection grew sporadically in the following decades, in large part through gifts from individuals as well as from graduating classes. The Henry C. Lewis bequest came to the university in 1895 and contained more than four hundred paintings and other works of art. With a modest budget for acquisitions, the museum's first director, Jean Paul Slusser, maintained a focus on collecting modern painting, sculpture and graphics and was quite successful due to his aesthetic expertise, knowledge of the New York art market and connections with Ann Arbor art organizations. The collection was further supplemented by gifts, including the Carl F. Clarke bequest of French and American landscape paintings and the Margaret Watson Parker bequest in 1936 (transferred to the museum in 1954 and 1955) of more than 600 Asian and Western works including Japanese prints and paintings by James NcNeill Whistler. Dr. Walter R. Parker (Margaret's husband and professor of ophthalmology at the university) further bequeathed funds to house the collection and to support future acquisitions.

During the very early years, efforts were made to display the collections. In 1857-1858 they were housed in the North and South Colleges. Space was allocated in the no longer extant library (newly erected in 1883), but even with the additional space gained when the library was enlarged in 1898 the facility could not adequately accommodate the growing collections. In 1910 the collections were moved to Alumni Memorial Hall, sharing the building with the Fine Arts Department and the Alumni Association. The hall has undergone renovations on several occasions. In 1957-1958, a Unistrut system of internal scaffolding was designed by professor of architecture William Muschenheim and installed in the museum apse. This installation increased gallery space. The Unistrut installation was subsequently removed in the early 1970s. Remodeling in 1966-1967 created additional gallery space; modernized the museum's heating, cooling and lighting systems; and provided areas for storage and behind-the-scenes work. The Museum of Art became Alumni Memorial Hall's sole occupant at this time. In 2003, planning was begun for a major expansion designed to increase the building's capacity by 55,000 square feet, to be used for additional gallery space, an auditorium and classrooms, and for a complete renovation of the existing facility.

Important components of the UMMA's program were added as it continued to expand its exhibitions program. In the late 1950s director Charles Sawyer began presenting museum seminars which, by 1963, had developed into the Museum Practice Program. The program, continued through 1995, provided training for many budding professionals in the museum field and organized numerous successful exhibitions for the UMMA over the years. The Friends of the Museum of Art was founded in 1968. This group supports the UMMA's acquisitions and other programming. Under director Bret Waller, the Docent Program was established in 1975 to provide tours for school classes and other visitors.

From the guide to the Musuem of Art (University of Michigan), 1946-ongoing, 1960-2004, (Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan)

The University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) houses the second largest art collection in the state of Michigan, offering a rich permanent collection supplemented by an active special exhibition program. In addition, the many and varying art collections assist in teaching at the university. The collections of Chinese and Japanese paintings and ceramics; Old Master and contemporary prints and drawings; and Whistler prints are particularly strong.

The museum was established in its present form in 1946. The University Regents declared in November 1945 that the Museum of Art and Archaeology be abolished and that two separate units (the Museum of Art and the Museum of Archaeology) take its place. At their January 1946 meeting, the Regents further stipulated that the Museum of Art be maintained as "a separate administrative unit for the purpose of collection, conservation, study and exhibition of works of art and the preparation of publications with respect thereunto." The university's art collections had their origins long before 1946, however. Early systematic collecting began in 1855 when Professor Henry S. Frieze purchased a number of art works, chiefly engravings and plaster casts, to illustrate his courses in classical art and archaeology. In 1862 Frieze was instrumental in acquiring the university's first significant original work of art, Randolph Rogers' Nydia, the Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii.

The collection grew sporadically in the following decades, in large part through gifts from individuals as well as from graduating classes. The Henry C. Lewis bequest came to the university in 1895 and contained more than four hundred paintings and other works of art. With a modest budget for acquisitions, the museum's first director, Jean Paul Slusser, maintained a focus on collecting modern painting, sculpture and graphics and was quite successful due to his aesthetic expertise, knowledge of the New York art market and connections with Ann Arbor art organizations. The collection was further supplemented by gifts, including the Carl F. Clarke bequest of French and American landscape paintings and the Margaret Watson Parker bequest in 1936 (transferred to the museum in 1954 and 1955) of more than 600 Asian and Western works including Japanese prints and paintings by James NcNeill Whistler. Dr. Walter R. Parker (Margaret's husband and professor of ophthalmology at the university) further bequeathed funds to house the collection and to support future acquisitions.

During the very early years, efforts were made to display the collections. In 1857-1858 they were housed in the North and South Colleges. Space was allocated in the no longer extant library (newly erected in 1883), but even with the additional space gained when the library was enlarged in 1898 the facility could not adequately accommodate the growing collections. In 1910 the collections were moved to Alumni Memorial Hall, sharing the building with the Fine Arts Department and the Alumni Association. The hall has undergone renovations on several occasions. In 1957-1958, a Unistrut system of internal scaffolding was designed by professor of architecture William Muschenheim and installed in the museum apse. This installation increased gallery space. The Unistrut installation was subsequently removed in the early 1970s. Remodeling in 1966-1967 created additional gallery space; modernized the museum's heating, cooling and lighting systems; and provided areas for storage and behind-the-scenes work. The Museum of Art became Alumni Memorial Hall's sole occupant at this time. In 2003, planning was begun for a major expansion designed to increase the building's capacity by 55,000 square feet, to be used for additional gallery space, an auditorium and classrooms, and for a complete renovation of the existing facility.

Important components of the UMMA's program were added as it continued to expand its exhibitions program. In the late 1950s director Charles Sawyer began presenting museum seminars which, by 1963, had developed into the Museum Practice Program. The program, continued through 1995, provided training for many budding professionals in the museum field and organized numerous successful exhibitions for the UMMA over the years. (The training of museum professionals was revived at the university in Fall 2003 when an interdisciplinary Museum Studies Program was created under the auspices of the Rackham School of Graduate Studies.) The Friends of the Museum of Art was founded in 1968. This group supports the UMMA's acquisitions and other programming. Under director Bret Waller, the Docent Program was established in 1975 to provide tours for school classes and other visitors.

  • 1946 - 1956 : Jean Paul Slusser
  • 1957 - 1972 : Charles H. Sawyer
  • 1973: Robert A. Yassin (acting)
  • 1973 - 1980 : Bret Waller
  • 1980: Clifford Olds (acting)
  • 1981 - 1988 : Evan M. Maurer
  • 1988 - 1989 : Graham Smith (interim)
  • 1990 - 1997 : William Hennessey
  • 1997 - 1998 : Carole C. McNamara (interim)
  • 1998 - 1998 present : James Christen Steward
  • 1961 - 1963? : Charles Chetham
  • 1963 - 1964 : Samuel Sachs II
  • 1965 - 1969 : Paul L. Grigaut
  • 1970 - : Robert A. Yassin
  • 1974 - 1978 : John E. Holmes
  • 1981? - 1983 : Jacquelyn Baas Slee
  • 1981? - : Mary Kujawski Roberts
  • 1990 - 1996? : Ellen A. (Nan) Plummer
  • 1998 - 1998 present : Carole C. McNamara

From the guide to the Museum of Art (University of Michigan) records, 1946-2003, (Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf University of Michigan. Museum of Art. Museum of Art (University of Michigan) photograph series. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Charles Henry Sawyer Papers, 1930-1997 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
referencedIn Jean Paul Slusser papers, 1905-1978 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
referencedIn Slusser, Jean Paul, 1886-1981. Jean Paul Slusser papers, 1905-1978. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn William Muschenheim papers, 1923-1990, 1951-1985 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
creatorOf University of Michigan. Museum of Art. Institutional file. Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
referencedIn Provost and Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs (University of Michigan) Supplemental Files, 1953-[ongoing] Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
referencedIn University of Michigan. Provost and Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs. Provost and Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs (University of Michigan) records, 1947-[ongoing]. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Musuem of Art (University of Michigan), 1946-ongoing, 1960-2004 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
referencedIn Sawyer, Charles Henry, 1906-. Charles Henry Sawyer papers, 1936-1983. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Paul L. Grigaut Papers, 1929-1969 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
referencedIn Grigaut, Paul L. Paul L. Grigaut papers, 1929-1969. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf University of Michigan. Museum of Art. University of Michigan Museum of Art records, 1855-1972. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Sawyer, Charles Henry, 1906-. Charles Henry Sawyer papers, 1936-1996. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Museum of Art (University of Michigan) records, 1946-2003 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
creatorOf University of Michigan. Museum of Art. Museum of Art (University of Michigan) records, 1946-2003. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Provost and Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs (University of Michigan) central files, 1947-2010 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
referencedIn Sawyer, Charles Henry, 1906-. Charles Henry Sawyer papers, 1930-1996. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf University of Michigan. Museum of Art. Correspondence with Carl Zigrosser, 1956-1968. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Provost and Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs (University of Michigan). Staff Files, 1947--[ongoing] Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Grigaut, Paul L. person
associatedWith Grigaut, Paul L. person
associatedWith Hennessey, William J. person
associatedWith Marin, John, 1870-1953. person
associatedWith Maurer, Evan M. person
associatedWith Muschenheim, William. person
associatedWith Sawyer, Charles Henry, 1906- person
associatedWith Slusser, Jean Paul, 1886- person
associatedWith Slusser, Jean Paul, 1886-1981. person
associatedWith Smith, David, 1906-1965. person
associatedWith University of Michigan. |b Graduate Seminar in Museum Practice. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan. Graduate Seminar in Museum Practice. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan. Graduate Seminar in Musuem Practice corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan. Museum of Art. Friends. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan. Museum Practice Program. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan. Musuem of Art corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan. Musuem Practice Program. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan. Provost and Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan. Provost and Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs. corporateBody
associatedWith Waller, Bret. person
associatedWith Willard Gallery. corporateBody
associatedWith Willard, Marian, 1904- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Michigan--Ann Arbor
Michigan--Ann Arbor
Michigan--Ann Arbor
Subject
Art--Exhibitions
Galleries and museums
Art museums
Arts
College art museums
Artists
Alumni Memorial Hall (University of Michigan)
Museum docents
Occupation
Activity

Corporate Body

Active 1946

Active 2003

Americans

English

Information

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