Wednesday, October 7, 2020
After an extensive national search, the Cummer Museum is pleased to announce the selection of Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, Ph.D., as the institution’s next George W. and Kathleen I. Gibbs Director and Chief Executive Officer.
Brownlee has served as the director of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art in Atlanta, Georgia, for nearly 20 years. She will begin her new role in December 2020.
Brownlee earned her Ph.D. in Art History from Duke University in 2001. As an undergraduate at Spelman College, she earned dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Art History. She is an alumna of the Getty Leadership Institute.
“I am honored to lead the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens — a forward-thinking institution that is prepared to meet the opportunities and challenges of this unprecedented time,” said Brownlee. “I anticipate working in collaboration with a variety of partners and stakeholders — both existing and new — to expand its footprint as the jewel of Jacksonville and an exceptional cultural resource for the region, the nation and the world.”
Brownlee, an award-winning art historian, curator, educator and writer, is recognized for her wise leadership, ambitious vision and influential publications. She was an instrumental member of the leadership team that piloted the Curatorial Studies Program at Spelman College, which was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In 2019, she expanded her efforts to educate the next generation of museum professionals by assuming a dual role as the Senior Strategist for the Atlanta University Center Art History + Curatorial Studies Collective. Prior to her arrival at Spelman College, she was a MacArthur Curatorial Fellow at The Art Institute of Chicago’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art (1998-2000). She is also a recipient of the Future Women Leadership Award from Art Table (2005), the President’s Award from the Women’s Caucus for Art (2005), the inaugural Nexus Award from the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (2010) and the David C. Driskell Prize in African American Art and Art History (2013).
In addition to her work with Spelman College and the Atlanta University Center Art History + Curatorial Studies Collective, Brownlee is a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors — a role that has shaped her international perspective on issues-driven museum leadership. She has served on numerous boards throughout her career, including the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences and the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund. In 2008, she served as the Vice Chair of the City of Atlanta Arts Funding Task Force.
Kerrie Slattery, who has served as interim director during the search process, will resume her position as Chief Advancement Officer when Barnwell Brownlee arrives to assume her position full time.