Issa Lampe, an expert in university art museums with 15 years of experience leading exhibition and engagement programs, has been appointed the new executive director of University of Richmond Museums, effective June 1. Lampe will also hold affiliated faculty status in the Department of Art and Art History.
Lampe most recently served as deputy director overseeing academic and curatorial affairs at the Smart Museum of Art and director of the Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry at the University of Chicago. At Stanford University’s Cantor Arts Center, she was associate museum director for public and academic engagement. Lampe has also held positions in museums at Yale University and Indiana University.
“I believe that academic museums can play a profoundly uplifting role in the lives of students by enhancing their education, fostering creativity and social belonging, and providing training for future careers,” Lampe said. “University of Richmond’s museums are an important part of campus culture, and I look forward to innovating additional opportunities to contribute to campus life and the University’s educational mission.”
During her career, Lampe has worked to lower barriers to accessing the arts for campuses and their local communities, piloted new models of in-gallery learning and engagement, and initiated and supported a range of policies and programs to diversify the cultural representation of museum collections and exhibitions.
“Issa’s commitment to inclusivity and belonging, and her rich experience in student and faculty engagement, public programming, academic curation, collection-building, and diversifying exhibition programs, will benefit our community and further the alignment of museums with our academic mission,” said Jenny Cavenaugh, dean of the School of Arts & Sciences. “Museums are an integral part of our University as many faculty and students visit our museums as part of their course work, and our campus and greater community enjoy the wide range of exhibitions.”
Lampe received her Ph.D. in history of art and architecture from Harvard University. She has taught courses at Harvard, Stanford, the American University in Washington, D.C., Indiana University, and San José State University. At Yale University and the University of Chicago, she co-taught hundreds of course sessions with artworks for faculty in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
Lampe succeeds longtime museums executive director Richard Waller, who retired in April after more than 30 years of service to University Museums. Elizabeth Schlatter, deputy director and curator of exhibitions, has been serving as interim executive director.