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Crawford Appointed Permanent Director of UW Art Museum

September 17, 2020
Nicole Crawford

Nicole Crawford has been appointed director of the University of Wyoming Art Museum, following approval by the UW Board of Trustees during its meeting today (Thursday). Crawford, the longtime curator of collections, had been interim director since February.

“I am so appreciative of Nicole’s extraordinary leadership during these past months -- she has been patient, tenacious and a real champion for the UW Art Museum’s staff in every possible positive way you can imagine,” says Anne Alexander, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “She is the right leader at the right time for not only getting the art museum through these tough times, but to a future. She is both visionary and pragmatic, respected by her colleagues both at UW and worldwide, and will take the UW Art Museum to new heights.”

The UW Art Museum, located in the Centennial Complex, collects, exhibits and interprets art to inspire creativity and nurture lifelong learning for the people of Wyoming.

Crawford joined the UW Art Museum in 2009 as the curator of collections and moved into the role of assistant director and chief curator in 2018. She serves as the museum’s chief academic officer. Crawford provides strategic leadership to advance the mission of the art museum and its support of the larger academic mission of the university by providing opportunities for teaching and learning through exhibitions and outreach activities, and enhancing the connection to, and collaboration with, the university’s academic programs, faculty, students and staff.

She also serves as the curatorial representative for the art museum and leads the curatorial team. Crawford teaches museum-related courses and leads museum-based study-abroad courses. Crawford serves on the International Council of Museums-University Museums and Collections board. Her research is based on the role of collector in the acquisition, care, documentation and display of cultural objects both through the collector’s vision and the responsibility of the museum.

“I am honored to take on the leadership role at the UW Art Museum. The museum is poised to build upon the strengths of the previous directors to become a leader of academic art museums in the West,” Crawford says. “I am lucky to work with an amazing team at the art museum, and I’m excited to move the museum into the future.”

Formerly the vice president of gallery operations and director at the Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe, N.M., Crawford supervised staff, conducted research and worked with numerous collectors during her eight years with the gallery. Previously, she was the curatorial assistant at the Sheldon Museum of Art on the University of Nebraska campus and completed the academic internship program at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She has a dual master’s degree in art history and museum studies and a bachelor’s degree in art history, both from the University of Nebraska.

For more information about the UW Art Museum, call (307) 766-6622 or visit the website at

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