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Spelman College Names Dr. Liz Andrews Executive Director of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art Share a Spelman College Press Release


Jazmyn Burton
Spelman College

Spelman College Names Liz Andrews Museum DirectorATLANTA (July 7, 2021) – Spelman College announces artist, curator, and museum professional Liz Andrews, Ph.D., as the new executive director of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. A gifted museum professional at the intersection of the arts and social justice who has worked in colleges and arts organizations across the nation, Dr. Andrews will begin leading the Museum on August 2, 2021.

“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,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman. “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.”

With a dedication to artists and re-envisioning art history, Dr. Andrews’ scholarly work is focused on the intersection of art and social justice. Her dissertation, “Envisioning President Barack Obama,” focused on the role of visual images in the 2008 election of Barack Obama as the nation’s 44th president. She argues that elections are about more than voting for leaders; they are battlegrounds upon which cultural values are visualized and contested.

"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," said Dr. Andrews, who has spent the last five years as the executive administrator in the Director’s Office of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. At LACMA, she expanded her role to collaborate on projects and priorities across museum departments, including diversity and inclusion efforts and curating exhibitions.

This fall, Dr. Andrews will open two shows at LACMA with co-curator Christine Y. Kim: the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s “Obama Portraits Tour” and a companion exhibition, “Black American Portraits.” Her other curatorial projects at LACMA included “Alex Prager: Farewell, Work Holiday Parties” (2020), and two Augmented Reality Monuments: Glenn Kaino’s “No Finish Line” (2021) and Ada Pinkston’s “The Open Hand is Blessed” (2021).

"At LACMA, Liz Andrews has blended her effective administrative skills with her creative academic and curatorial work to focus on social justice and equity as a path to the future of art museums," said LACMA CEO and Director Michael Govan. "She is herself on a path to help shape our field."

Dr. Andrews’ career is defined by a long-standing commitment to engaging undergraduate students through research and the arts. Prior to LACMA, she was a doctoral student at George Mason University, where she co-taught the multi-year Mason Science of Diversity Project. After graduating, she continued to engage with undergraduate students as a guest instructor in Art History at George Mason. Her classes challenged students to reconsider the roles of art in society and develop critical research projects. While working as an administrator in the Department of Photography & Imaging at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, Dr. Andrews advised students and organized public conferences on Black figures and beauty.

A native of Denver, Colorado, Dr. Andrews attributes her commitment to social justice to her father, attorney Irving P. Andrews. She holds a B.A. in American studies from Wesleyan University, a M.A. in arts politics from the Tisch School of the Arts, and a Ph.D. in cultural studies from George Mason University.

About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading 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. Spelman is the country's leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by U.S. News & World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 54 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 19 for undergraduate teaching, No. 4 for social mobility among liberal arts colleges, and No. 1 for the 14th year among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Recent initiatives include a designation by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute, the first endowed queer studies chair at an HBCU, and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.D.s in economics. New majors have been added, including documentary filmmaking and photography, and partnerships have been established with MIT’s Media Lab, the Broad Institute and the Army Research Lab for artificial intelligence and machine learning. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Rosalind Brewer, political leader Stacey Abrams, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna president Audrey Forbes Manley, actress and producer Latanya Richardson Jackson, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones. For more information, visit Spelman College.


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