IN ATLANTA, the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art named Liz Andrews executive director. Andrews is an artist, curator, and museum professional who prides herself on working at the intersection of art and social justice. She was serving as executive administrator of the director’s office at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) when she was selected to lead Spelman’s museum.

Andrews is succeeding Andrea Barnwell Brownlee. After two decades at Spelman, Brownlee departed last December to become director and CEO of the Cummer Museum of Art in Jacksonville, Fla. The appointment of Andrews was announced in July. She joined Spelman Aug. 2.

 


Liz Andrews joined Spelman College Museum of Fine Art earlier this month. | Courtesy Spelman

 

“For decades, the Spelman Museum has celebrated art by women of African descent. We are thrilled to welcome a museum professional as talented as Dr. Andrews to lead the important curatorial and education work at the Museum,” Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell said in a statement.

“Her social justice scholarship, embrace of innovative technologies and appreciation for interdisciplinary collaborations make her the right leader at the right time for the future of the only museum in the country that is dedicated to work created by Black women.”

“Her social justice scholarship, embrace of innovative technologies and appreciation for interdisciplinary collaborations make her the right leader at the right time for the future of the only museum in the country that is dedicated to work created by Black women.”
— Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell

Andrews worked at LACMA for nearly five years. Her expansive role in the director’s office included diversity and inclusion work and curatorial duties. She curated projects with artists Alex Prager, Glenn Kaino, and Aida Pinkston. Forthcoming, Andrews is co-curating with Christine Y. Kim, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s “Obama Portraits Tour” and “Black American Portraits,” a companion exhibition featuring works drawn from LACMA’s collection.

In previous roles, Andrews taught undergraduate students as a guest instructor in art history at George Mason University (GMU). While she was pursuing her doctorate at GMU, she co-taught the multi-year Mason Science of Diversity Project. Earlier, she was an administrator in the Department of Photography + Imaging at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Andrews originally hails from Denver, Colo. She earned a B.A. in American studies from Wesleyan University, an M.A. in arts politics from the NYU’s Tisch School, and a Ph.D. in cultural studies from GMU. Titled “Envisioning President Barack Obama,” her dissertation focused on the role of visual images in the 2008 election of Barack Obama as President of the United States.

Over the past few years, highlights at Spelman Museum include the presentation of “Theaster Gates: Black Image Corporation” and solo exhibitions dedicated to artists Mildred Thompson (1936-2003), Amy Sherald, Zanele Muholi, Deborah Roberts, and Beverly Buchanan (1940-2015).

Currently, Spelman museum remains closed due to COVID-19. It will reopen under a new leader. When her appointment was announced Andrews said: “I am honored to take on this role at such an exciting time for the arts at Spelman College and a moment of great change for museums, arts and culture.” CT

 

BOOKSHELF
“The Obama Portraits” documents the portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama that were commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and painted by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively. The publication is “about the making, meaning, and significance of these remarkable artworks.” Duke University art historian Richard J. Powell is among the contributors.

 

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