UQ Art Museum’s Director Dr Campbell Gray toured some of America’s leading university and private art museums, and met with US-based UQ alumni, in a recent visit to North America.
Dr Gray has a rich background in the arts, strong ties to the North American art scene and extensive experience in higher education. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Art History and prior to joining UQ he was the director of the Museum of Art at Brigham Young University in Utah for 14 years.
Alumni events in San Francisco, New York and Washington DC attracted UQ alumni who were interested in art and keen to find out more about UQ Art Museum’s work in the US.
Dr Gray said the strong relationships UQ has formed with several institutions, including The Smithsonian American Art Museum, were enabled and enriched by its North American Alumni.
"The UQ alumni in North America are wonderful, they're interesting and exciting people. They're adventurous which is why they've gone there to establish careers and they want to help. So the possibility of facilitating these relationships with the help of our alumni in North America is terrific. Some wonderful relationships have been established from my visits over there,” he said.
"You really cannot study 20th Century Western art history without studying American art, in the same way you can't study 19th Century art without studying Paris.
"So for contemporary art and the foundations of contemporary art it's really important that we engage with exhibitions of American art,” said Dr Gray.
Dr Gray said the positive outcomes and engagements during his trip were testament to the unifying nature art can have.
“This is a core goal of UQ Art Museum – to make visual arts part of all student learning, no matter their study discipline, so it was heartening to see how art continued to have this influence among UQ alumni in life beyond university,” Dr Gray said.
The UQ Art Museum is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, read more about it here.