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The College of Creative Arts Celebrates the Career of MUAM Director


 

After 38 years of dedicated service, the College of Creative Arts celebrates the career of retiring director of the Miami University Art Museum, Dr. Robert (Bob) S. Wicks. 

Dr. Robert S. Wicks joined the faculty at Miami University in 1983 after completing a Ph.D. in the History of Art and Archeology at Cornell University. He became the interim director of the Miami University Art Museum (MUAM) in 2000, and following a national search, was appointed director in 2003. 

Wick’s leadership brought not only his academic expertise in human expression and history to the museum but also his ability to build meaningful relationships. Connections that will leave a lasting legacy for the museum. The position of director has been endowed in perpetuity as the JEFFREY HORRELL ‘75 & RODNEY ROSE DIRECTOR AND CHIEF CURATOR, a powerful gift of long term stability for the museum from two longtime supporters and friends. For Wicks, those relationships will also have a lasting legacy, “Besides missing the excitement of working with a remarkable team of dedicated museum professionals, what I will cherish most were the opportunities I had to work with the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. Those were probably the most personally and intellectually rewarding experiences of my career at Miami.”

During a virtual retirement celebration on Zoom on May 6, Wicks left another lasting mark on the museum. A painting by Miami University professor of painting, Larry Collins, was gifted to the museum in Wick’s name. The piece An Homage to John Lewis, 2021 currently hangs in the museum’s lobby and will remain in the permanent collection. 

“I’ve been blessed to work with Bob for 10 of his 20 years at MUAM! His kindness, expertise and openness to try new things have been critical for the continued growth of MUAM. His departure is so very bittersweet for us all as museum staff, he will be missed, but we are all so very excited for him to begin this much deserved next chapter – retirement! We know that he will be a lifelong advocate not only for the arts in Oxford but for the museum and our important work of sharing visual arts and culture with the world,” said MUAM Marketing Communications Manager, Sherri Krazl.

Liz Mullenix, Dean of the College of Creative Arts shared that she has “known and worked with Bob since my Miami journey began in 2006, and have worked closely with him since 2013 when I became the Dean of the College of Creative Arts. Bob is someone for whom I have the utmost respect. Bob has been a true servant leader—always willing to step up to the plate or rise to a challenge, no matter how demanding the situation might seem. I can’t thank Bob enough for all he has done for the arts at Miami University, for the Art Museum, and for the College of Creative Arts. We will miss him dearly!”

Beyond the permanent mark Wicks leaves on the Miami community, he has projects in the works we can anticipate for the future. He is the founding editor of the Wyandot Heritage Digital Archive, a documentation project hosted by the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma. As part of this larger project, Wicks is writing a biography of 19th century Wyandot Indian leader William Walker (1800-1874), tentatively called Fugitive Son of the Forest:  William Walker and Wyandot Tribal Sovereignty in the Age of Indian Removal.

After an extensive search, Dr. John (Jack) D.M. Green was appointed the new JEFFREY HORRELL ‘75 & RODNEY ROSE DIRECTOR AND CHIEF CURATOR of the Miami University Art Museum. Green comes to the MUAM from the American Center of Research (ACOR) where he served as the Associate Director. 

 

 



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