Published: May 14, 2015
MIAMI BEACH, FLA. — Timothy Rodgers has been named director of The Wolfsonian–FIU. Rodgers comes to FIU from Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA).
“We are looking forward to having Dr Rodgers lead The Wolfsonian–FIU into the next phase of its development. The museum is an incredible resource to our community and the art world,” said FIU Provost and Executive Vice President Kenneth G. Furton. “His track record of creating synergies between art and education made him the ideal candidate.”
Rodgers officially takes the reins on July 1. The Wolfsonian–FIU is a museum, library, and research center devoted to art and design, with a collection of about 120,000 objects from the period 1885–1945. The collection includes a variety of media, from furniture and art to rare books and propaganda posters.
Museum founder Mitchell “Micky” Wolfson Jr. praised the selection of Rodgers as director.
“Tim is fully poised for his new challenge. His appointment enthusiastically approved by the Wolfsonian and FIU will give us all new confidence and undoubtedly new directions in order to maintain the institution as a world leader in transmitting the importance of design from one generation to the next, which is the highest responsibility of an educational research institution,” Wolfson said.
As director of The Wolfsonian–FIU, Rodgers hopes to expand the physical museum, as well as begin the process of making most of the museum’s permanent collection available online. In 2012, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation awarded the museum a $5 million, five-year grant to support greater public access to the museum’s collection of art and design, especially by enhancing its online offerings.
The physical and digital expansions mean a bright future for The Wolfsonian–FIU, said Rodgers, whose relationship with The Wolfsonian–FIU goes back to 1989, when The Wolfsonian’s Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts published his first scholarly article.
“This will allow us to put more of the permanent collection on display, in the building and online,” he said. “We will have more programs connecting the museum’s collection with a community of supporters, students, scholars and researchers around the world. The Wolfsonian will be at the forefront of all conversations about the future of museums, visual studies, modernist scholarship and audience engagement.”
Rodgers has served as director of SMoCA in Scottsdale, Ariz., for the past six years. Rodgers also has a background in higher education that includes an appointment as visiting professor of contemporary art and theory at College of Santa Fe from 2005–2008.
He also served in various academic and leadership capacities at the College of Santa Fe, Lawrence University and the Wriston Art Center Galleries. Rodgers earned a bachelor’s in art from Arizona State University. He also holds a master’s and Ph.D. in History of Art from Brown University.
“I want to ensure that more people recognize the fact that The Wolfsonian–FIU is a world-class museum, one that intelligently and creatively engages with a vast array of cultural artifacts to help all of us understand our history, our present and our future,” Rodgers said.
The Wolfsonian, a Smithsonian affiliate, is at 1001 Washington Avenue. For more information, 305-531-1001 or www.wolfsonian.org.
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