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Outgoing Lowe Art Museum Director Brian Dursum Honored for His Years of Dedication and Service

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    By Margot Winick
    UM News

    Brian Dursum

    Brian Dursum

    CORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 23, 2014) — After more than 40 years of dedicated service, Brian Dursum, director and chief curator of the University of Miami’s Lowe Art Museum, will step down in August.

    In honor of Dursum’s contributions and longstanding partnership in support of the museum, Beaux Arts, the Lowe’s volunteer organization, has acquired and donated to the museum an art object valued at $35,000. Located on UM’s Coral Gables campus and part of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Lowe is Miami’s first and most comprehensive art museum, with a collection spanning more than 5,000 years of world art history.

    The volunteer organization that works to promote and fundraise for the museum, Beaux Arts has generously provided this gift in support of Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami. Additionally, Beaux Arts has pledged a total gift of $1.7 million to the Lowe. The work of Haitian artist Pascale Monnin, entitled “Resurrection Angel,” was formally presented to the Lowe at the Beaux Arts’ annual meeting on May 21. At that meeting, Dursum was also named an honorary member of Beaux Arts.

    “We are a 63-year-old organization and we have been working with Brian for 39 years,” said Kristen Munroe, the president of Beaux Arts. “We have a passion for the same mission, we’ve formulated friendships, and had a lot of fun together.”

    “I have worked with Beaux Arts for almost 40 years, during which time I have developed a deep appreciation and affection for all their hard work,” said Dursum. “I am therefore deeply honored to have been selected as an honorary member of the organization. The acquisition of Pascale Monnin’s work, Resurrection Angel, is a wonderful acquisition for the Lowe’s permanent collection. I am deeply grateful for this wonderful donation and deeply moved that Beaux Arts has made this significant gift in my honor.”

    Leonidas G. Bachas, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, noted that Dursum “ushered in a new era at the Lowe, making it a critical part of the academic experience for UM students and faculty, highlighting its holdings to the region and to the world, and ensuring the museum’s legacy for years to come.”

    A specialist in Asian art, Dursum was appointed director of the museum in 1990 after serving as its registrar since 1982. Under his leadership, the Lowe doubled in physical size, its collection expanded to more than 19,000 works, and its endowment grew exponentially.

    Dursum’s management of the permanent collection, which has strengths in Renaissance and Baroque, 17th through 21st century American and European, Ancient and Native American, African, Oceanic, and Asian art, has cemented the Lowe’s reputation as one of the most important museums in the Southeast. But education has always been Dursum’s key focus.

    “We are a museum for the public, but we have an important academic mission,” Dursum said. “It has always been my goal that the Lowe would be used as a resource for teaching and research.”

    To learn more about the museum, visit Photos of the art work are available upon request.



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