Colgate appoints Anja Chávez as director of university museums

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Anja Chávez will become director of university museums on May 1.

Douglas A. Hicks, provost and dean of the faculty, announced the selection of Anja Chávez as director of university museums for Colgate University, effective May 1. She will direct the Picker Art Gallery and Longyear Museum of Anthropology, as well as the university’s envisioned Center for Art and Culture.

Chávez will join Colgate from Syracuse University’s Warehouse Gallery and SUArt Galleries, where she has served as the curator of contemporary art since 2008. From 2003 to 2008, she was curator of contemporary art and curator of exhibitions at the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College. Earlier in her career, Chávez held curatorial positions at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Fitchburg Art Museum in Fitchburg, Mass., and Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus in Munich, Germany.

With an academic background as an art historian, Chávez holds MA and PhD degrees from the University of Bonn, Germany, and she attended the École Normale Supérieure and the Université de Paris Sorbonne (Paris IV). She has taught and lectured at several American universities and museums and held residencies in Beijing and Taiwan.

Chávez brings a decade of museum experience in liberal arts colleges and universities. During that time, she has consistently involved students and faculty from multiple disciplines in the work of Western and non-Western artists. She has produced high profile, innovative scholarly exhibitions and created partnerships across institutions and communities, at regional, national, and international levels.

“We are extremely fortunate to bring Anja Chávez to Colgate,” said Hicks. “She not only brings the experience, vision, and passion gained from working in highly regarded museums, she also is part of an international network of artists, curators, and institutions working across many time periods and cultures. She has effectively built collections and has worked successfully with benefactors, advisory groups, and all of the many communities that are involved in defining and growing university collections.”

Chávez, who has come to call Central New York her home, said she consistently strives to implement new and compelling ways to bring art and culture to campus and community. “I am profoundly committed to the principles of a teaching museum, to excellence and innovation in the arts, and to sharing my passion with academic communities and the general public. I take great pride in working with students, faculty, and our many constituencies. Thus, I am delighted to be coming to Colgate and its museums.”

Read Chávez’s curriculum vitae here.