After working almost 50 years with George Washington University art galleries, Lenore D. Miller, M.F.A. ’72, has announced her retirement.
As director of university art galleries and chief curator, Ms. Miller leads the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery team while also overseeing GW’s art collection. Throughout her time at GW, she also taught courses on exhibition design, art history survey and design for the fine arts.
Ms. Miller began her career in 1973, soon after she graduated from GW, as the assistant to the curator at the Dimock Gallery. Under then-curator Donald Kline, she organized exhibitions with the university’s fine arts department with an educational mission. She was appointed as curator of art in 1975 once Mr. Kline retired. During her years at the Dimock Gallery, Ms. Miller fondly remembers meeting Andy Warhol and speaking with him in Lisner Auditorium, as well as poet Maya Angelou on another occasion.
Since the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery officially opened in 2002, and Ms. Miller’s appointment to her current role in 2007, she worked to curate more than 400 exhibitions in addition to the hundreds of exhibits she coordinated. Marjorie Weingold, co-chair of the Friends of the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery, said that Ms. Miller is leaving a unique legacy because of the artists she introduced to audiences through those exhibits. Ms. Miller worked as curator with artists such as Sam Gilliam, Glenn Goldberg, Woody Gwyn, Howard Hodgkin, John Hubbard, Jules Olitski, Sean Scully and Kit White among others.
“As a ‘lifer’ at GW, I am grateful for the supportive community I am surrounded with—from the doctors at GW Hospital and MFA center to the academic units and faculty,” Ms. Miller said. “I am grateful for so many learned and vibrant colleagues who have made my career here endlessly challenging with so many interesting interactions.
“I am content that the future of the visual arts at GW is strong and adds immeasurably to the sense of identity on the campus.”
Olivia Kohler-Maga, assistant director of the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery, said that she learned how to hang an exhibition and work with artists during her time with Ms. Miller.
“Lenore has been an ever-present member of the local art scene for many years, influencing the GW and D.C. art worlds as a curator, artist and educator,” Ms. Kohler-Maga said. “Although I mainly knew her curatorial side, I got to see how passionate she was in educating art students once we moved to the Corcoran School."
Ms. Miller said that she hopes there will be a continuing appreciation for the GW Collection that she spent decades building and curating within the context of future art presentations and student research. Through her work supervising the installation of nearly every sculpture on GW’s campus, she hopes the university will continue its art education for the entire community.
John Wetenhall, director of the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, said that Ms. Miller has served as a “force for art” throughout her distinguished career.
“Over decades of service, Lenore has cultivated artists and donors to build our university's art collection and has worked with faculty across campus to promote hands-on learning and student research,” Dr. Wetenhall said. “Comprised of nearly 4,000 paintings, sculptures, prints and photographs, the GW art collection will stand for decades as testimony of Lenore Miller’s legacy.”