Norris, Andrea

Norris, PhD
Year Inducted: 
Andrea Norris
  • Director and Chief Curator of the Spencer Museum of Art
  • Former lecturer and Chief Curator for the University of Texas at Austin
  • 1990: Included in Who’s Who in American Art
  • 1987: Named in the International Who’s Who of Business and Professional Women 
  • Mentor to KU students seeking careers as art museum administrators

One colleague wrote of Dr. Norris, “(she) has been, and remains, one of the intellectual leaders of the University.” Since taking over her role as the Director and Chief Curator of the Spencer Museum of Art in 1988, Andrea Norris has brought both recognition and an enriched learning environment to the Museum and the University of Kansas. 

Norris received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts and New York University, and went on to work at Yale University’s Art Gallery as an assistant to the director and lecturer for the Department of Art History and at the University of Texas at Austin as a lecturer and Chief Curator.  She has been widely recognized for her accomplishments.  In 1980, she received the honor as a Who’s Who in American Art, and in 1987 was named an International Who’s Who of Business and Professional Women.  Also, in 1993, she was named a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  At the University of Kansas, Norris has used her knowledge, expertise and love for art to transform the Spencer Museum into a highly distinguished art institution.  Through her efforts in public programming and acquisition priorities, she has reached out to a broad audience, including the university, the Lawrence community, and the citizens of the state of Kansas.  For instance, Norris has worked to expand Spencer’s holdings and exhibition schedule to include work from many underrepresented artists, such as women, African American, Latin American, Asian and Native American artists.  These exhibits not only expand the Spencer Art Museum’s offerings, but they also expand the knowledge and cultural learning opportunities for KU students, the faculty and the community.  Norris is also a mentor to KU students seeking careers as art museum administrators.  Mary Dusenbury, Acting Curator of Asian Art at the Spencer, writes, “The Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas has one of the finest internship programs in the country, largely due to Andrea’s efforts to secure funding for the program, her belief that graduate students can make important contributions to the museum, and her initiative to add an intern trip to the program.”  As a result of her work, many KU students go on to take important jobs at other prestigious art institutions throughout the country.  Terry Oldham, Director of the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, states, “I can honestly say that I would probably not be in my position today without her guidance and support…I’m certain she’s done that for countless other students and colleagues.” 

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