Students from St. Peter Claver Catholic School tour the American Museum of Asmat Art in the Anderson Student Center.

American Museum of Asmat Art Names New Director

The University of St. Thomas announced Gretchen Burau '16 MA will serve as director of the American Museum of Asmat Art on its St. Paul campus.

Gretchen Burau speaks at a 2013 reception for the "Among the Asmat: The Schneebaum Perspective" exhibition displaying works from the American Museum of Asmat Art. Burau, who was a St. Thomas art history graduate student at the time, curated the exhibition.

The AMAA has one of the largest collections of Asmat art in the country, with almost 3,000 objects. University officials said that Burau has a superb combination of experience in outreach with the collection to a wide and diverse range of audiences, hands-on work with students in all phases of the museum’s activities, a focus on the Asmat as a living culture, and engagement with curricula across the campus.

The Asmat collection was gifted to St. Thomas in 2007, and the current museum opened in 2012. It's located on the second floor of the Anderson Student Center, and engages students and the global community through preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting the art of Asmat people in order to expand human understanding and promote intercultural awareness.

Burau, who is also an art history professor, has most recently been serving as interim director. She will assume this permanent role on March 28.