Alison Gass appointed director of the Smart Museum of Art

Allie. (Photo by Jean Lachat)

We’re thrilled to announce that Alison Gass, a leading curator of contemporary art and a senior leader at university museums, has been appointed the director of the Smart Museum of Art.

Ali will serve as the Dana Feitler Director of the Smart Museum starting May 1, leading the University of Chicago’s fine arts museum and its thought-provoking exhibitions, distinctive public and arts education programs, varied collaborations with students and faculty, and exquisite collection of more than 15,000 objects.

Ali has been the chief curator and associate director for exhibitions and collections at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University since 2014. Prior to that, she was a member of the leadership team that opened the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, including serving as the museum’s acting director.

“Ali is an accomplished curator with a strong understanding of the impact a university museum has on campus and in the broader community. Her appointment is essential to growing the arts at the University of Chicago and expanding their role in scholarship and public life,” University Provost Daniel Diermeier said.

“Ali brings a global outlook and strong passion for art and learning to the Smart and its diverse and interesting collection. I look forward to seeing her elevate the museum and expand its impact at the University and in the community,” said Pamela Hoehn-Saric, chair of the Smart Museum’s Board of Governors.

“I am excited by the University’s commitment to visual arts, interdisciplinary exploration and community engagement,” Ali said. “I look forward to shaping what it means to be a great art museum at a top research university, while helping to define the role of the Smart in the constellation of world-class art museums in Chicago and beyond.”

Ali has curated major exhibitions at the Cantor Arts Center, Broad Art Museum, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She was featured in a 2010 New York Times article highlighting “the new guard of curators,” and is a fellow this year at the Center for Curatorial Leadership.

Join all of us at the Smart in welcoming Ali!

Read the full announcement.

Categories: General Announcement