Rutgers University–New Brunswick names new art museum director

Dawn Furnas//February 3, 2022

Rutgers University–New Brunswick names new art museum director

Dawn Furnas//February 3, 2022


Rutgers University–New Brunswick named a new director for its Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, the university announced Feb. 3.

Curator, writer, art consultant and nonprofit leader Maura Reilly will begin her new position at the art museum Feb. 15.

Reilly has organized dozens of exhibitions internationally that focus on marginalized artists. She is the founding curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, where she developed and launched the first exhibition and public programming space in the U.S. devoted entirely to feminist art, according to the announcement. She also organized several landmark exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, including the permanent installation of Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party and the Global Feminisms (co-curated with Linda Nochlin).

She has also served as executive director and chief curator of the National Academy of Design and as senior curator at the American Federation of Arts.

“Maura Reilly’s leadership roles at the Brooklyn Museum and with exhibitions internationally, as well as her expertise on global contemporary art and curatorial practice, will make her an excellent leader for the Zimmerli, one of the largest and most distinguished university-based museums nationwide,” Rutgers University–New Brunswick Chancellor-Provost Francine Conway said in a prepared statement. “We are proud to welcome her to Rutgers–New Brunswick.”

Reilly succeeds Donna Gustafson, who was named Zimmerli’s interim director in 2020 following the death of director Thomas Sokolowski. Gustafson will continue as curator of American and Modern Art/Mellon director for academic programs.

“I am passionately committed to the museum’s essential missions of research, teaching and community engagement,” Reilly said in the statement. “I look forward to collaborating with the museum’s talented staff and board leadership on developing a new vision for the museum – one defined by empathy, compassion, mutual respect, and diversity, equity, access and inclusion (DEAI) principles.

“It is an exciting moment for 21st-century art museums,” she continued, “and the Zimmerli is poised to lead the way amongst its university museum peers in the effort towards creating more equitable museum and campus experiences where everybody feels not only welcome, but also recognized.”

Reilly earned her master’s and Ph.D. in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Among her many accomplishments, she has taught art history and museum studies at institutions in the U.S. and Australia, including Arizona State University, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Queensland College of Arts and Tufts University.