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University of Michigan Museum of Art welcomes new Director, Christina Olsen
Christina Olsen is the director of Williams College Museum of Art.

ANN ARBOR, MICH.- Christina Olsen, the director of Williams College Museum of Art in Massachusetts, has been named the new director of the University of Michigan Museum of Art.

Her five-year appointment, approved Thursday by the Board of Regents, is effective Oct. 30.

Olsen will serve in place of Joseph Rosa, who left the university in September 2016 to join the Frye Art Museum in Seattle. Kathryn Huss, deputy director and chief administrative officer of UMMA, has served as interim director.

President Mark Schlissel said Olsen "has a distinguished track record of innovation in merging the scholarly and community components of art museums, both of which are hallmarks of the University of Michigan Museum of Art."

"Christina brings deep knowledge of art and museums to the directorship of UMMA. Her commitment to collaboration and inclusion shape her work with students, faculty, the public, and other cultural institutions," said Interim Provost Paul N. Courant in recommending Olsen for the position.

"I have great confidence in her ability to build on UMMA's excellence, enhancing the contributions it makes to education, research, and civic life. We look forward to Dr. Olsen joining us and to exciting times at the museum."

Since Olsen joined the Williams College Museum of Art in 2012 as the Class of 1956 Director, she has built the museum's national reputation around critically acclaimed exhibitions and publications, and new creative forms of faculty and student engagement.

"I'm excited by the University of Michigan's deep commitments to global research across disciplines, diversity and equity, and collaborating with local communities in Michigan," Olsen said. "I can't imagine a better set of priorities from which to shape an internationally important and dynamic art museum for the 21st century."

Prior to her appointment at Williams College, Olsen held important positions at the Portland Art Museum, Getty Foundation, J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco.

Olsen received a bachelor's degree in history of art, with honors, from the University of Chicago, and a master's degree and a doctorate in art history from the University of Pennsylvania.

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