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Cultural Collections

Transforming Education: The past, present & future of U-M museums

The U-M Museum of Art (UMMA) is one of top university art museums in the country. Its comprehensive collection represents more than 150 years of collecting at the university.

When the University of Michigan was first imagined in 1817, its founders envisioned museums as essential to the ambitious educational system they sought to create. The University’s first museum opened to the public in 1841, the same year the first class of students arrived in Ann Arbor.  Today, ten U-M museums and multiple galleries house vast collections, host numerous exhibits, and engage thousands of students in their classrooms, labs, and public spaces.

In the University’s bicentennial year, this series invites leaders from several U-M museums to engage in conversations with museum leaders from peer institutions.  Our speakers will review the history of their institutions, discuss current initiatives and priorities, and explore their visions for the roles and contributions of museums in the university of the future.

All presentations begin at 6:30 pm

October 24
University Natural History Museums: Portals of Discovery in the Anthropocene
A conversation between:
James Hanken, Director, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University
Diarmaid O’Foighil, Chair, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, U-M
West Conference Room, Rackham Building, 915 E. Washington Street, 4th Floor

November 28
Learning by Leading: A New Model for Expanding Museum Impact
A conversation between:
Kathleen Socolofsky, Director, Arboretum and Public Garden, University of California, Davis
Bob Grese, Director, Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, U-M
Helmut Stern Auditorium, UM Museum of Art, 525 South State Street

December 5
Time to Evolve: The Histories and Futures of Two University Natural History Museums
A conversation between:
Julie Stein, Executive Director, Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington
Amy Harris, Director, Museum of Natural History, U-M
Helmut Stern Auditorium, UM Museum of Art, 525 South State Street

December 12
Museums of the Past into the Future: The Oriental Institute and the Kelsey Museum
A conversation between:
Chris Woods, Director, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
Terry G. Wilfong, Director, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, U-M
Helmut Stern Auditorium, UM Museum of Art, 525 South State Street

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