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Peter Morrin, Director, Speed Art Museum

Peter Morrin

Peter Morrin was named Director of the Speed Art Museum in 1986. As the leading arts institution in the Southeast region, the Museum has continued to serve and engage its constituencies with dynamic exhibitions and programming, and has a commitment to bring the arts to the widest possible audiences. Under Mr. Morrin's leadership, the Museum initiated a $12 million renovation of the building and facilities in February 1996 to meet both the demands of its expanding local and national role and the need for an enhanced environment to experience the Museum's diverse and extensive collection. A $50 million bequest, received from the granddaughter of the Museum's namesake in March 1996, represents one of the largest cash gifts ever given to a museum and has enabled the Speed to invest in its future. Long-term institutional initiatives, including acquisitions; augmentation of the Museum's existing educational outreach; and additional public activities to increase understanding of the arts, are currently being implemented under Mr. Morrin's directorship for continual institutional growth.

Among the notable exhibitions organized at the Speed under Mr. Morrin's leadership are: "Sam Gilliam: Construction (1996)"; "Collection in Focus: The English Renaissance Room and the Yoruba Doors (1995)"; "The Art of Contemporary Glass: Selections from The Leonard and Adele Leight Collection (1993)"; "Breaking the Rules: Audrey Flack, A Retrospective (1993)"; "Kentucky Masterworks: A Bicentennial Exhibition (1992)"; "When All the World Was a Stage: Russian Constructivist Theater Design (1989)"; and "Southern Folk Art (1986)."

From 1979 to 1986, Mr. Morrin served as the Curator of 20th Century Art at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, where he organized: "The Advent of Modernism: Post-Impressionism and North American Painting (1986)"; "Mark Rothko: Subject(1983)"; "Five Outdoor Installations: Jim Roche, Robert Morris, Scott Burton, Houston Conwill, Richard Fleischner (1982)"; and regionally-focused exhibitions such as "The Folk Art Sculpture of Carlton Garrett(1982)"; "Drawings from Georgia Collections: 19th and 20th Centuries(1981)"; and "Amercian Landscape: Paintings from the High Museum(1981)." From 1974 to 1978, Mr. Morrin was Director at Vassar Art Gallery and Assistant Professor of Art at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Mr. Morrin currently serves as an Adjunct Lecturer in the Art Departments at Emory University, Atlanta, and the University of Louisville, Kentucky, and is on the advisory board at The Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has lectured and participated in numerous symposia on contemporary art, including "Realist Intentions and Expressionist Needs: Conflicts in Current Art," Kennesaw College(1984); "Art and Architecture: Recent Solutions," Atlanta Chapter, American Institute of Arhitects(1983); "Aspects of Contemporary Realism," High Museum and University of the South(1983); "Issues for Art in the 1980s," Syracuse University(1982); and "The Influence of Art Criticism on Recent Art," Southeastern College Art Conference, Birmingham, Alabama(1980).

Mr. Morrin has authored a number of publications, including: "Content in Abstraction: The Uses of Nature"(1983) and "20th Century Paintings from the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art: A Viewer's Guide"(1982). In addition, he edited "Nineteenth and Twentieth Century French Drawings from the Art Museum, Princeton University: An Introduction"(1972), and has published numerous essays, including "Southern Storytelling: Folk and Formal" (1983) and "Walter Hollis Stevens" (1981), both for "Art Papers."

Mr. Morrin graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Fine Arts from Harvard College in 1968 and received an M.F.A. from Princeton University in 1972.

Program 215

This week's topic on Mixed Media, is teaching through the arts. With that in mind, we will meet: Peter Morrin, Director of the Speed Art Museum; Nana Yaa Asantewa, Executive Producer, Kentuckiana African American Arts Series; and we will go "behind the curtain" at Walden Theatre. (#215)


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