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Janalee Emmer named 4th MOA Director

Janalee Emmer

It is an honor to announce the next director of the Brigham Young University Museum of Art: none other than our own Dr. Janalee Emmer! As the first woman to lead the Museum, she will officially begin in her new role on April 26.

Jana has been with us since 2014, when she was hired as one of our curators and the Head of our Education Department. Last year she was appointed Associate Director of Exhibitions & Programming. She holds a PhD in Art History from Pennsylvania State University, as well as Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from BYU, and is an expert in the work of women artists. Her career includes work at distinguished museums and universities including the Getty, the Palmer Museum of Art, Ohio Wesleyan University, the University of Tennessee, and Bucknell University.

Here at the MOA, Jana has curated numerous exhibitions, including Embracing Diverse Voices: A Century of African-American Art; Patrick Dougherty: Windswept; Danae Mattes: Where the River Widens; A Studio of Her Own: Women Artists from the Collection; and Far Out: The West Re-Seen, Photography of Victoria Sambunaris (on view until May 1). She has championed campus outreach by increasing the number and frequency of MOA educational programs, and she recently addressed the University as part of its weekly, campus-wide devotional series, wherein she discussed the transformative power of art.

“I am incredibly honored to be stepping into this new leadership role at the Museum,” Jana said. “The BYU Museum of Art has a rich history of exhibitions and programming, and tremendous potential for the future with our dedicated staff, donors, and visitors.”

We extend the deepest gratitude to our outgoing Director, Dr. Mark Magleby, who led the Museum since 2012. We’re delighted that he will continue at the Museum as its new Emeritus Director and Development Chair, helping our collection grow and be shared around the world. He has known and admired Jana ever since she was an undergraduate student here at BYU: “Few have ever questioned the value added by Jana’s exhibitions and programming, which often deliver narratives of gender and racial empathy. Her work experience… has enriched the intellectual culture and professional practices of the MOA.”

During his tenure as Director, Mark oversaw several blockbuster exhibitions at the MOA, including Sacred Gifts: The Religious Art of Carl Bloch, Heinrich Hofmann, and Frans Schwartz and M.C. Escher: Other Worlds, as well as a number of major acquisitions. He facilitated the creation of the MOA’s first endowed fellowship (the Roy and Carol Christensen Curator of Religious Art position, currently held by MOA Head Curator, Ashlee Whitaker) and continues to support donors, exhibition programming, and publications.

“I am extremely thankful to Mark Magleby for his unwavering dedication to the Museum in the past ten years,” Jana praised. “Mark’s love of both the arts and of people is evident in all he does and is something I will emulate. I look forward to working with him in his new capacity and am confident that this will benefit the Museum for years to come.”

We are thrilled to begin a new chapter here at the Museum and can hardly wait to share with you some of the wonderful things that are just around the corner!