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Art Museum of WVU names new director

Todd J. Tubutis

Todd J. Tubutis has been named the next director of the Art Museum of West Virginia University, the College of Creative Arts announced today. 

“We are excited to welcome Todd to the Art Museum of WVU,” said College of Creative Arts Dean Keith Jackson. “As we head into the museum’s fourth year of operation, we know Todd will bring his eagerness and many refreshing ideas to help us engage more West Virginians in experiencing the transformative power of art.” 

Tubutis’ official start date is Feb. 25. He will be the second director of the museum, which opened in 2015 and currently houses more than 3,000 works of art in its permanent collection. He follows Joyce Ice in the position, who retired in July 2018. 

"I am thrilled to be joining the Art Museum of West Virginia University as its next director, Tubutis said. “Looking ahead, it is exciting to consider how to build on what's already been achieved toward establishing the museum as a vibrant cultural hub for both the campus and the community through compelling exhibitions and programs and by growing the collection in meaningful ways.

“There is great potential to engage students and faculty in all disciplines, keeping the rigor and curiosity that is central to the academic endeavor at the heart of all that the museum does. I look forward to getting to know Morgantown and the museum's many dedicated supporters who champion its ongoing success."

Tubutis joins the Art Museum of WVU from his position as associate director of the Sheldon Museum of Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he was responsible for overseeing administration, operations, and revenue-generating staff and services. As part of the museum’s leadership team, he collaborated on curating, developing, and implementing mission-driven exhibitions, programs, and outreach activities and advising on new acquisitions.

During his tenure at Sheldon, Tubutis established a new visitors services division and served as lead curator for two concurrent exhibitions, “Conflict and Consequence: Photographing war and its Aftermath” and “An-Me Lê: 29 Palms,” for which he was also integral in securing more than $65,000 in project funding. Additionally, he launched Sheldon’s current strategic planning process and oversaw recent phases of a multi-year collection digitization project.

Tubutis was previously executive director of Blue Sky Gallery, a nonprofit venue in Portland, Oregon dedicated to the presentation of international contemporary photography. Prior to joining Blue Sky in 2009, Tubutis was exhibition project director at the Field Museum in Chicago, where he led the design and institutional strategy teams for more than 20 temporary and permanent exhibitions of varied scope and subject matter, including "Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years -- Selections from the John F. Kennedy Library," "Maps: Finding Our Place in the World," "From Prairie to Field: Photographs by Terry Evans" and "Evolving Planet." 

He has taught and conducted research in cultural and visual anthropology in the U.S., Canada and Hungary, and has contributed articles and reviews to Wisconsin Academy Review, Visual Anthropology, Exhibitionist, Exposure, Time Out Chicago and the Encyclopedia of Chicago. 

Tubutis earned a master's degree in anthropology from the University of British Columbia. For his thesis, he examined Native American participation in Jim Jarmsuch's 1996 feature film "Dead Man." Tubutis received a bachelor's degree in anthropology and museum studies from Beloit College, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with departmental honors.