The University of Chicago announced today that Alison Gass has been appointed the Dana Feitler Director of the Smart Museum of Art. Starting May 1, Gass will lead the museum’s exhibitions, collaborative projects, and public and educational programs.
Since 2014, Gass has been the chief curator and associate director for exhibitions and collections at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University. She also served as acting director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, where she created a residency for artists focusing on ideas about land, food, and natural resources. Gass has also worked as a curator for the San Francisco Museum of Art and a teacher at the California College of the Arts and City College in New York.
In a statement, University of Chicago Provost Daniel Diermeier called Gass “an accomplished curator with a strong understanding of the impact a university museum has on campus and in the broader community.” Professor Christine Mehring, chair of the university’s art history department, said,“Beyond her impeccable taste and daring talent-scouting … Ali Gass understands university art museums and their unique strength to draw on cutting-edge thinking and research done by students and faculty.”
Gass herself added: “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.”