July 24, 2017

University of Michigan Museum of Art Names New Director

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN—Christina Olsen has been named director of the University of Michigan Museum of Art for a five-year term beginning October 30, 2017, reports Lindsay Knake of Olsen’s appointment was approved by the University of Michigan Board of Regents on July 20 following a nationwide search. She succeeds Kathryn Huss, who has served as UMMA’s interim director since September 2016 following former director Joseph Rosa’s departure for Seattle’s Frye Art Museum. Huss will remain UMMA’s chief administrative officer.

Olsen has been director of the Williams College Museum of Art since May 2012, where she has recently overseen exhibitions of work from the museum’s collection and students, presentations from David Zink Yi, Fathi Hassan, Franz West, and Lexa and Dan Walsh. In fall 2016, the museum hosted “Getting a Read on Basquiat and Black Lives Matter,” an exhibition a series of conversations and public workshops around Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1983 painting Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart). During her tenure, the Williams College Museum of Art has developed a reputation as one of the finest university museums in the country.

Prior to her time at Williams College, Olsen was director of education and public programs at the Portland Art Museum. She has also held positions at the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Olsen received a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Chicago and a Master’s and doctorate in art history from the University of Pennsylvania.

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