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Release: Nov. 9, 2001

Collinson Is Elected To Association Of Art Museum Directors

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Howard Creel Collinson, director of the University of Iowa Museum of Art, has been elected to the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) as one of only about 180 members from North America. He was elected at a recent meeting of the association's trustees.

Membership in the AAMD is open to persons who serve as directors of art museums which by purpose, size and standards of operation meet the eligibility requirements established by the association's trustees.

"Membership is based on the qualifications of the director and the specific museum, which must meet the highest professional standards," Collinson said. "This is a very gratifying honor, and it verifies the status of the UI Museum of Art as a significant institution."

The purpose of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) is to aid its members in establishing and maintaining high standards for themselves and the museums they represent, thereby increasing the contribution of art museums to society. It serves as a forum for the exchange of information and the exploration of ideas, and as a voice with which museum directors express their joint concerns and those of their institutions.

According to the AAMD, members of the organization are persons who serve as directors of art museums in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. No museum may be represented by more than one individual, and the AAMD maintains a ceiling of 200 active members.

Collinson became director of the Museum of Art in 2000. A native of Kansas, he served at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto from 1986, first as assistant curator with full responsibility for prints and drawings in the European Department. He became associate curator in 1991, and was appointed head of the museum's Institute of Contemporary Culture (ICC) in 1992. He became head of the Department of Western Art and Culture in 1996, and in 1997 he was named the Mona Campbell Curator, making him the first person already on the museum staff to be named to an endowed curatorship.

During Collinson's six-year tenure as head the ICC constructed a 4,000-square-foot gallery, presented 12 exhibitions and raised more then $2.5 million in cash and in-kind donations. He organized and served as curator for several of the ICC's exhibitions, including "Fifty Years of Canadian Advertising and Design," an exhibition of paintings by Canadian painter Charles Pachter and a retrospective exhibition of works by the distinguished graphic designer Theo Dimson.

He has published articles and reviews in art journals and exhibition catalogues, presented lectures in Canada and the United States, and made more than 120 appearances on television and radio programs. Collinson holds a bachelor's degree with highest honors from the University of Kansas and a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, where he served as a research assistant at the Yale University Art Gallery.