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Ogden Museum of Southern Art announces new Director

William Pittman Andrews has been named director of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art/University of New Orleans, in New Orleans, La. Andrews will start on Jan. 2, 2012.

The 41-year-old native of Starkville, Miss., has been the director of the University of Mississippi Museum and Historic Houses since 2009, where he was also an adjunct assistant professor of art at the university. While he was director, Andrews worked to establish a vital museum community in the town of Oxford, Miss., well known for its vibrant culture of literary and visual arts.

“We are thrilled to have found someone with William’s enormous energy and vision, as well as his deep knowledge of Southern art,” says Julia Reed, chair of the Ogden Museum’s board of trustees. “We are looking forward to his leading the Museum into the next phase by expanding the museum’s already excellent programming, as well as its resources.”

Andrews’ guiding principle has been to follow ideas that place the museum at the center of a participatory public culture, to offer, in his words, “the museum as a place where people come to do things and to interact with each other, not just to look at things.”

At the Ogden Museum, Andrews is looking forward to leading the institution into the early stretch of its second decade. “The Ogden Museum of Southern Art should be mentioned in the same conversations with museums like the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art,” says Andrews. “Both of these institutions, with exhibitions like The Quilts of Gee’s Bend and William Eggleston: Democratic Camera – Photographs and Video, 1961-2008, display an interest in how art of the American South fits into the broad category of American Art.”
Andrews looks forward to taking the Ogden Museum further afield. “The road of history is a two-way street, and we look forward to originating nationally traveling exhibitions from the Ogden that confront the nature of art of the South, and promote its presence in contemporary discussions about art being made in America today,” says Andrews, adding that the definition of the South is somewhat flexible. “At different times, the idea of the South has been fluid enough to contain geographies from Texas to Delaware. Through its arts and culture, we plan to explore what being Southern means at its basic level.”

Prior to joining the University of Mississippi Museum and Historic Houses, Andrews was at Mississippi State University, where he was the project manager of the Visual Arts Center (2007- 2009). He was a founding member, board of directors at the Starkville (Mississippi) Area Arts Council (1996-2006); gallery director, College of Art, Architecture, Art and Design, Mississippi State University (2003-2009); founder, Mississippi Museum Fund/Mississippi Gulf Coast Art Rescue (2005); adjunct instructor, department of art, Mississippi State University (1996-2003); and owner,

Ogden Museum of Southern Art 925 camp street • new orleans, louisiana • 70130 phone (504)539-9600• fax (504)539-9602

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