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A Note from the Director

Preston Thayer became director of the Augustana Teaching Museum of Art in October 2013. He brings 14 years experience leading museums across the country, including at two other universities.

A native of Ann Arbor, Mich., Dr. Thayer received his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, a master's degree in the history of technology from the University of Delaware, and a Ph.D in art history from the University of Pennsylvania.

January 2014

As I begin my first year at the helm of the college's art museum, I am heartened by the number of people on campus and in the community who are committed to the appreciation and production of fine art, and support new ways of using art to address issues of social justice, urban revitalization, and environmental concerns.

From Quad City Arts to the Rock Island Art Guild, and from the Upper Mississippi Valley Research Center to the Liberal Studies First Year project on campus, I am learning that Quad Cities residents are eager to engage with the arts.

To give students at Augustana College exposure to the ever-ongoing search for life's meaning, and tools for negotiating their part in it, is the mission and pleasure of running a vital arts exhibition program. The college has an impressive collection of art, and I look forward to supplementing the historical with curated exhibitions that celebrate the present.

Look for an exhibition of newly acquired 19th- and 20th-century Swedish art in the fall of 2014, and some innovative contemporary artists' and architects' work in the spring!

Preston Thayer, PhD