The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University has promoted Sarah Scroth — who began working there in 1995, back when it was called the Duke University Museum of Art — to the position of director. Previously she was a senior curator at the institution, and had been serving as its interim director since its previous chief, Kimerly Rorschach, left to helm the Seattle Art Museum in November.
Prior to joining Duke, Scroth worked at the Kimbell Museum in Fort Worth, the National Gallery of Art, and the Ackland Art Museum at Duke’s cross-state rival the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She studied at Mary Washington College, and earned her Ph.D. from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts.
“I’m delighted to have this opportunity to lead the Nasher in what promises to be a very exciting time in its history, as we approach its 10th anniversary celebration in 2015, undertake new initiatives in undergraduate education and expand the scope of our exhibitions,” Schroth said in a statement. “It’s been my privilege to have served under a great director in Kim Rorschach, whose model I am honored to follow; to have worked closely with Raymond Nasher, the museum’s founding patron, whose legacy of connoisseurship and patronage I hold dear; to have supervised a relentlessly hard-working and uncomplaining staff as interim director; and to have enjoyed the support and guidance of Dick Brodhead and Peter Lange throughout my time at Duke. Having been present at the creation of the Nasher, I welcome the opportunity to continue and expand on the work of so many.”
Richard Powell, an art history professor at Duke and a member of the Nasher’s board of directors, led an 11-member committee in an international search for a new director that ended up discovering the ideal candidate right under its nose.
“I am thrilled with the selection of Sarah as director of the Nasher,” Duke provost Peter Lange said in a statement. “She has been a superb curator, bringing wonderful shows and working closely with Trevor Schoonmaker and the visiting and faculty curators to give the Nasher its outstanding and distinctive artistic profile during its founding years. In addition, she has worked with me three times as interim director, on each occasion providing excellent leadership while doing two jobs. Now that she will be the director, I am anticipating continued outstanding and innovative programming in this next phase of the Nasher’s development into one of the pre-eminent university museums in the country and the world.”
— Benjamin Sutton
(Photo courtesy Nasher Museum of Art.)