University officials announced yesterday that Joseph Rosa, the chief curator of architecture and design at the Art Institute of Chicago, will be the next director of the University of Michigan Museum of Art.

Rosa will take the post effective July 1, pending approval by the University’s Board of Regents. He will be the seventh director of UMMA, succeeding James Steward who left the University in 2009 after 11 years, during which he oversaw a major capital campaign and a construction and renovation project to accept the directorship at the Princeton University Art Museum.

When Rosa begins the job, he will be taking over for a team of three interim co-directors that have headed the museum since June 2009.

Rosa was selected after an international search conducted by a 14-member advisory committee set up by University President Mary Sue Coleman.

In a statement released yesterday, Coleman said she was very excited that Rosa would be taking the helm at UMMA.

“We are so pleased that Joe Rosa has agreed to lead the University of Michigan Museum of Art at this particularly auspicious and exciting moment in its history,” Coleman said in a statement. “As an accomplished scholar, teacher, thinker and leader with wide-ranging museum experience and numerous publications to his credit, Joe has dedicated his career to bringing the visual arts, design and culture to life for a broad range of audiences.”

In an interview with The Michigan Daily yesterday, Coleman expanded on her remarks, praising both Steward for his work at the University and saying she looks forward to what Rosa will be able to do once he arrives on campus.

“I was just so compelled by his vision and the way in which he had thought about an art museum that is part of an academic setting,” Coleman said. “Many of the ideas that he has relate to getting academic departments involved.”

Coleman added that the renovated museum will allow Rosa to continue to innovate at the museum.

“It’s just a terrific opportunity for Joe to come in and really make a big statement about the University of Michigan in the art world,” she said.

In a statement released yesterday, Rosa said he was excited to be coming to the University.

“I am thrilled and honored to be given this wonderful opportunity to lead the University of Michigan Museum of Art into the future at this very special time in its history,” he said in a statement.

Prior to his current position with the Art Institute of Chicago, Rosa was a curator the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, a curator at the Heinz Architectural Center at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. He also worked as the chief curator at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. and as the director of the Columbia Architecture Galleries in New York.

Rosa has curated more than 30 exhibitions and written 14 books, including works that have appeared in Architectural Design, Assemblage, Casabell, Oculus, Praxis and Progressive Architecture.

The University’s art collection is widely respected as one of the larger collections among universities, with more than 18,000 pieces in its collection, and is among the oldest university art collections in the country.

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