U.Va. Appoints First Vice Provost for the Arts; Taps Former Phillips Collection Curator

December 11, 2007
Dec. 11, 2007 — University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III announced today the appointment of Elizabeth Hutton Turner, a former senior curator at The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., as vice provost for the arts.

Turner, an American art expert whose career spanned almost two decades at the Phillips, joined the University's McIntire Department of Art in September and was appointed a University Professor. As vice provost for the arts she will report to Dr. Arthur Garson, executive vice president and provost.

Turner will be responsible for oversight of the University's two museums – the University Art Museum and the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection – as well as helping to facilitate the advancement of art, music and drama in the academic arena.

"I am extremely pleased to have Beth Turner join our team," Garson said. "She brings a great depth of knowledge and understanding of the importance of the arts, and I expect her to raise the arts to new heights here."

The hiring of a vice provost for the arts comes at a critical crossroads in the University's history – one in which the University has committed to both programmatic and physical growth. Establishing new models of excellence has been a priority of the President's Commission on the Future of the University, and planning for an extensive Arts Gateway to the University is one such model that is already under way. The project includes an integrated plan to make the arts central to University life and will focus on new and improved spaces for all the arts, including a new art museum, a new music building and an arts residential college.

"We have set out ambitious goals for the arts," Garson said. "We hope to lead in new modes of educating students to understand the aesthetic sides of modern life no matter what their primary interest -- and to make the arts an integral part of their lives now and n the future."

Turner, who received her bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in art history at U.Va., is ready for the challenge. "I am grateful for and humbled by this amazing opportunity to help my alma mater make its mark in the arts, not only here at the University in Charlottesville, but also among our peer institutions nationally and internationally."

Turner will begin her tenure as vice provost on Jan. 3, 2008.