Who We Are
The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection is the only museum outside of Australia dedicated to the exhibition and study of Indigenous Australian art.
A world in which Indigenous peoples are listened to, and their arts and cultures are honored and celebrated.
To expand knowledge and understanding of Indigenous Australian arts and cultures to cultivate greater appreciation of human diversity and creativity.
We believe we can best fulfill our Vision and accomplish our Mission by living these values daily:
- We respect Indigenous people as the authorities on their art and culture, and we strive to amplify their voices
- We collaborate with partners across the globe to deepen our impact and extend our reach
- We create inclusive and welcoming environments that promote cross-cultural dialogue
- We aim to inspire discovery through research and experiential learning
- We steward all of our resources – our collections, facilities, staff and volunteers – with care and respect.
To read our statement on the events of August 11 and 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, click here.
Margo Smith AM
PHD University of Virginia, MA University of Virginia, BA William and Mary
Margo is an anthropologist who conducted fieldwork in central Australia in 1991-1993 and has worked with the Kluge-Ruhe Collection since 1995. She co-edited Art from the Land: Dialogues with the Kluge-Ruhe Collection of Australian Aboriginal Art with Dr. Howard Morphy.
Henry F. Skerritt
Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Curator
PhD University of Pittsburgh, MA University of Pittsburgh, MA University of Melbourne, BA Honors University of Western Australia
Henry is an art historian and curator hailing from Perth, Western Australia. He leads research and teaching initiatives at UVA using the collection’s holdings and curates exhibitions of First Nations Australian art.
Collections Manager and Registrar
MA University of New Mexico, Graduate Certificate – George Washington University, BA University of Virginia
Nicole ensures the proper care and preservation of the permanent collection, managing the exhibition, storage, conservation, and record keeping of each object. Having spent the last decade caring for museum collections at the University of Virginia, she brings a comprehensive background in collections management, registration, and preservation.
Education and Program Manager
MA University College London, BA Messiah College
Lauren provides educational, programmatic, and marketing support to the collection, and has work experience with a number of art galleries internationally. She has worked with several art historians as well as an independent curator. She has also taught art history courses at Piedmont Virginia Community College.
Fiscal and Operations Specialist
BA, College of Charleston
Jennifer manages the museum’s fiscal administration and oversees projects involving the building and grounds. Jennifer has a background in pre-K12 education. She is a practicing artist and member at McGuffey Art Center.
Visitor Services Specialist
MFA University of Tennessee, BFA Radford University
Ed provides weekend support for the museum and assists with educational and programming activities. He is a sculptor with extensive experience teaching art to UVA students and adults of all ages.
Kluge-Ruhe Advisory Council
The Kluge-Ruhe Advisory Council provides invaluable support and advice to the museum on an ongoing basis. Current members include:
- Jilda Andrews (Yuwaalaraay), co-chair
- James G. Harris, co-chair
- Katherine Brooks
- Lesley Cannady
- Freja Carmichael (Quandamooka)
- John Kluge
- Kate Krane
- Ambassador Damien Miller (Gangalu)
- Frances Morphy
- Howard Morphy
- Terry Snowball (Wisconsin Ho-Chunk/Prairie Band Potawatomi)
- Marc Sobel
- John Wilkerson
Kluge-Ruhe Strategic Plan 2021-2026
Over the next five years, Kluge-Ruhe will pursue four strategies to reimagine the museum in the contemporary world: expand Indigenous leadership, create dynamic experiences audiences will love, activate the stewardship of our collections, and accelerate our growth. Click here to read our full strategic plan.
The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection is a special unit of the University of Virginia and reports to the Vice Provost for the Arts, Jody Kielbasa. The museum is formally governed by the Rector and Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia. The Kluge-Ruhe Advisory Council is a non-governing board with responsibilities related to overall policy, planning, guidance and oversight.