Nasher Museum Annual Report 2014 | Q&A with Friends Board President
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Q&A with Friends Board President

When people ask you why they should become a member of the Nasher Museum, what do you say?

arthur2I meet the most amazing folks at the Nasher! The Nasher membership community comprises a diverse and fascinating group of people. A Nasher membership affords you access to this community. Attending Nasher events, I have met ground-breaking curators, pioneering gallerists, brilliant scholars, inspiring students, renowned collectors, major donors, minor donors and people like me who want to learn about art! Since I first joined the Nasher at the urging of Nasher Museum “hero” Mindy Solie, I have felt welcome. This feeling does not come about by accident. Duke and its friends built the museum at the “front door” of the university, on a public street and adjacent to a neighborhood, as if to say, “Welcome Durham, welcome Triangle, welcome world! I’m your neighbor, come see me!” My neighbor, the Nasher, is my window on the art world. The fact that in 10 short years a major university art museum has been born and blossomed only a short distance from my home in Durham continues to amaze me and makes me feel very fortunate.

Nasher brings the world to Durham. It is up to us to engage. When you become a member of Nasher, your relationship to the museum becomes reciprocal. I find that I get so much more out of reciprocal relationships- those in which there is “give and take.” Your membership supports this fine institution, and you receive an endless stream of opportunities in return.

What is your favorite cocktail party story about the Nasher Museum?

Cocktail party stories … I have a lot of those, mostly based on conversations with characters I’ve met at the museum and their adventures all over the world! However, my current favorite relates to a major initiative right at the heart of the museum: Sarah Schroth and staff’s exciting plan to show more of the permanent collection. It’s the nature of an art museum to display only a small portion of the permanent collection at any given time; the bulk remains in storage. Sarah and her staff have formulated a revolutionary plan to show much more of the collection in rooms created within two of the gallery pavillions. Many Nasher fans will be surprised to discover that the permanent collection is quite complete in its representation of art history. The new, mostly contemporary, pieces in the permanent collection are ground-breaking and amazing, yes. But I think the community will be equally amazed by the breadth of what is soon to be revealed. Medieval, African, Antiquities, Photography, Russian, European, American, Asian… the collection is extensive–there is going to be a lot to see. The rotating nature of the newly formatted galleries will make it even more exciting and fresh. As the Nasher community becomes more familiar with the collection, it will truly become “ours.”

Arthur Rogers


Friends Board of the Nasher Museum

Photo by J Caldwell