For Immediate Release
ATLANTA (Dec. 8, 2016) –- The High Museum of Art recently appointed Spelman College President Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., to its 77-member Board of Directors. Recognized nationally for her extensive leadership in the arts, higher education, and community development, Dr. Campbell was appointed to the board of the leading art museum in the southeastern United States.
With more than 15,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African-American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography, folk art and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists.
"We are honored to welcome Dr. Campbell as a member of our board of directors,” said Rand Suffolk, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., director of the High Museum of Art. “With her extensive and varied leadership experience in the arts and as an educator, she will be a wonderful asset and advocate for the Museum, and we are excited to work with her.”
Having transformed the Studio Museum in Harlem into a renowned institution in the 1970s and expanded the arts in New York City as the cultural affairs commissioner under two mayors, Dr. Campbell is joining the board of the High Museum of Art at a significant point in her career as an educator and a leader in the arts. The Romare Bearden scholar, who served as the dean of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts for more than two decades, is currently completing a book on Bearden, a pre-eminent artist, composer and writer to be released in 2017 by Oxford University Press. She co-authored the book, “Memory and Metaphor: The Art of Romare Bearden, 1940-1987” in 1991, the same year she chaired a Smithsonian advisory board that made the recommendation for development of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened on Sept. 24, 2016.
Drawing on nearly 40 years of leadership in education, the arts and community development to inform her writing, Dr. Campbell, vice chair of President Barack Obama’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, authored a chapter for “Artistic Citizenship: Artistry, Social Responsibility, and Ethical Praxis.” The first-of-its-kind book released in October 2016 unites perspectives from artists, scholars, arts educators, policymakers, and activists investigating the complex system of values surrounding artistic-educational endeavors. In September 2016, the White House named Dr. Campbell one of 11 people recognized for being a “Champion of Change for College Opportunity,” and during that same month, the highly-anticipated book “Four Generations: The Joyner Giuffrida Collection of Abstract Art,” for which Dr. Campbell wrote the introduction, was published.
Spelman has a long and storied commitment to its students being exposed to the arts as part of their academic and intellectual experience at the College, opening the door for them to develop a lifelong relationship with various arts. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, internationally recognized for organizing first-rate, mission-specific art exhibitions focused on art by and about women of the African Diaspora. In celebration of this milestone, this fall the Museum premiered the exhibition “AFRICA FORECAST: Fashioning Contemporary Life," an expansive, original multidisciplinary exhibition that explores the influence of 20 women artists and designers on fashion in everyday life.
Under Dr. Campbell’s leadership, which began on Aug. 1, 2015, Spelman has intensified its focus on the arts. The College's refined strategy includes a rich and robust series of new initiatives, programs, community outreach, and collaborative engagements that ensure the vitality of the arts at the College. As she joins the board of the High Museum of Art, Dr. Campbell looks forward to contributing her deep commitment and vast experience in the arts, higher education, technology, partnerships, and community engagement to advancing the mission of the High Museum of Art.
About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective, liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman; Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer, Broadway producer Alia Jones, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley, Harvard professor Evelynn Hammonds, author Pearl Cleage and actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu.
About the High Museum of Art
The High is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. With more than 15,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American art; a substantial collection of historical and contemporary decorative arts and design; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography, folk and self-taught art, and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists. Through its education department, the High offers programs and experiences that engage visitors with the world of art, the lives of artists and the creative process. For more information about the High, visit high.org.