The University of Arizona Museum of Art and Center for Creative Photography welcome new directors
Two of the University's most prominent museums have named new leaders. Olivia Miller, who had been serving as interim director of the University of Arizona Museum of Art since July, has been appointed director on a permanent basis effective immediately. Todd Tubutis, who most recently served as director of the Art Museum of West Virginia University, will begin as director of the Center for Creative Photography in mid-July.
Miller makes history
Miller, who earned her Bachelor of Arts in art history and studio art from the University in 2005 and her Master of Arts in art history from the University of Oregon, is the first woman to serve as the museum's director. She joined the museum in 2012 as curator of education and became curator of exhibitions in 2014.
"I am thrilled and honored to take on this new role at UAMA and continue to work with its incredible staff and collection," said Miller, who holds a master's degree in art history from the University of Oregon. "University art museums are special institutions and the University of Arizona is a dynamic campus with endless possibilities for interdisciplinary collaborations."
Miller has presided over multiple high-profile exhibitions at the museum in recent years. Over the fall, she oversaw "Restored: The Return of 'Woman-Ochre,'" which traces the story of the Willem de Kooning painting stolen from the University in 1985, recovered in 2017 and returned to Tucson in 2022. She curated "The Art of Food: From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation," which opened in 2021 and was the museum's largest exhibition in more than a decade.
"Olivia has done outstanding work as interim director, and I am delighted that she will be taking on this role permanently," said Andy Schulz, the University's vice president for the arts and dean of the College of Fine Arts. "Olivia understands the critical role that university art museums play as vibrant hubs for teaching and learning, research and innovation, and community engagement in and through the visual arts."
Miller says her priorities include developing a new strategic plan focusing on University and community impact, diverse creative experiences and positive social change.
The University of Arizona Museum of Art traces its founding back to 1942 when it received its first collection from student C. Leonard Pfeiffer. Groundbreaking for the museum happened in 1955. Its permanent collection includes 7,000 works of art spanning eight centuries, such as Jackson Pollock's "Number 20," Georgia O'Keeffe's "Red Canna" and Edward Hopper's "The City." Find the museum's summer hours on its website.
Read more about Miller's appointment on the Arizona Arts website.
Tubutis bringing a 'wealth of experience'
Tubutis brings 20 years of experience in management, fundraising and exhibition development to his new role. In addition to his time leading the Art Museum of West Virginia University, Tubutis' career includes leadership roles at the University of Nebraska's Sheldon Museum of Art and the Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts.
"I am thrilled to be joining the talented staff of the Center for Creative Photography as its next director," Tubutis said. "It is a true honor to be asked to lead such an exceptional institution – to steward its history and chart a dynamic and inclusive course for its future – especially as CCP prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2025."
At WVU, Tubutis launched efforts to include photography in the museum's collections and secured the museum's first dedicated photography acquisition fund.
"Todd comes to us with a wealth of experience working at, and leading, cultural institutions located within flagship public research universities," Schulz said. "I look forward to working closely with Todd and the entire CCP staff during this exciting next phase in the center's history."
Tubutis holds a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and museum studies from Beloit College in Wisconsin and a Master of Arts in anthropology from the University of British Columbia.
The Center for Creative Photography opened in 1975 and includes 270 archival collections as well as more than 110,000 individual works by over 2,200 photographers. The archives feature collections from prominent photographers including David Hume Kennerly, Ansel Adams, W. Eugene Smith, Lola Álvarez Bravo and Edward Weston. The center is currently running the North American premiere of "The Linda McCartney Retrospective" exhibit, which runs through Aug. 5. The center's summer hours are listed on its website.
Tubutis succeeds Staci Santa, managing director of Arizona Arts Live, who has served as interim director since May 2022. Read more about Tubutis' appointment on the Arizona Arts website.