Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection Selected to Participate in National Museum Assessment Program

April 13, 2009 — The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia has been selected to participate in the Museum Assessment Program with a focus on Collections Care.

The Museum Assessment Program is supported through a cooperative agreement between the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the American Association of Museums. The program is designed to help museums assess the strengths and weaknesses of their collection care programs and plan for the future.

As part of the Museum Assessment Program, Kluge-Ruhe staff members will complete a detailed self-study encompassing all aspects of museum operations. The self-study is followed by a site visit from a museum professional. After touring the museum and meeting with staff, governing officials, and volunteers, the visiting professional produces a report evaluating Kluge-Ruhe's operations, making recommendations and suggesting resources.

The Museum Assessment Program will help Kluge-Ruhe improve its operations by providing guidance in establishing priorities and meeting goals. It will also provide a context to evaluate how Kluge-Ruhe compares to standards and best practices in the museum field at large. Completing the assessment and implementing recommended priorities will position Kluge-Ruhe for future grant funding. For information about the program, see www.aamus.org/museumresources/map.

About The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection

The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection at the University of Virginia consists of 1,700 objects, including ethnographic work, fine art and archives. The collection came into being in 1997 through a gift by John W. Kluge. Kluge began collecting Aboriginal art in 1988, compiling one of the finest private collections of Australian Aboriginal art in the world. In 1993, Kluge purchased the collection and archives of the late professor Edward L. Ruhe of Lawrence, Kansas. Ruhe began collecting Aboriginal art while visiting Australia as a Fulbright Scholar in 1965. He built a high-quality collection that rivaled many Australian museums. Ruhe's research on Aboriginal art resulted in several publications and his archives comprise the core of the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Study Center. Kluge-Ruhe regularly hosts exhibits, tours, lectures and special events. For information see www.virginia.edu/kluge-ruhe.