News Release

University of Miami Lowe Art Museum Director Brian Dursum to Step Down

Beaux Arts Organization donates art work to honor years of partnership with the Museum

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 27, 2014) – After more than 40 years of dedicated service, Brian Dursum, director and chief curator of the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami’s College of Arts and Sciences, will step down in August.

In honor of Dursum’s contributions and its longstanding partnership in support for the museum, Beaux Arts of the Lowe Art Museum acquired and donated an art object  valued at $35,000 to the Lowe. Located on the Coral Gables campus of the University of Miami, The Lowe is Miami’s first and most comprehensive art museum, with a collection spanning more than 5,000 years of world art history.

The volunteer organization that works to promote and fundraise for the museum, Beaux Arts had generously provided this gift in support of Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami. Additionally, Beaux Arts has pledged a total gift of $1.7 million to the Lowe. The work of Haitian artist Pascale Monnin, entitled “Resurrection Angel,” was formally presented to the Lowe at the Beaux Arts’ annual meeting on May 21. At that meeting, Dursum was also named an honorary member of Beaux Arts.

“We are a 63-year-old organization and we have been working with Brian for 39 years,” said Kristen Munroe, the President of Beaux Arts. “We have a passion for the same mission, we’ve formulated friendships and had a lot of fun together.”

"I have worked with Beaux Arts for almost 40 years, during which time I have developed a deep appreciation and affection for all their hard work, “ said Dursum. “I am therefore deeply honored to have been selected as an honorary member of the organization. The acquisition of Pascale Monnin’s work, Resurrection Angel, is a wonderful acquisition for the Lowe’s permanent collection. I am deeply grateful for this wonderful donation and deeply moved that Beaux Arts has made this significant gift in my honor."

“Brian ushered in a new era at the Lowe, making it a critical part of the academic experience for UM students and faculty, highlighting its holdings to the region and to the world, and ensuring the museum’s legacy for years to come,” said Leonidas G. Bachas, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. 

A specialist in Asian art, Dursum was appointed director of the museum in 1990 after serving as its registrar since 1982. Under his leadership, the Lowe doubled in physical size, its collection expanded to more than 19,000 works of art, and its endowment grew exponentially.

Dursum’s management of the permanent collection, which has strengths in Renaissance and Baroque, 17th through 21st century American and European, Ancient and Native American, African, Oceanic, and Asian art, has cemented the Lowe’s reputation as one of the most important museums in the Southeast. But, education has always been his key focus, Bachas said.

“We are a museum for the public, but we have an important academic mission,” Dursum said. “It has always been my goal that the Lowe would be used as a resource for teaching and research.”

To learn more about the museum, visit Photos of the art work are available upon request.

Kristen Munroe with Brian Dursum
Kristen Munroe, Beaux Arts President, with Brian Dursum, Lowe Art Museum Director.