At its February 2020 meeting, the University of Lynchburg Board of Trustees unanimously approved the renaming of the Daura Gallery to Daura Museum of Art. The new name “better reflects our mission as a teaching museum that enhances the University of Lynchburg’s academic mission,” Dr. Barbara Rothermel, director of the Daura Museum of Art, said.
Over the years, the Daura has grown as an active academic unit of the University, Rothermel noted. More than just a gallery, it “transforms learning through encounters with works of art, advances creative collaborations with all fields of study, and furthers the appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts and cultural heritage for all University of Lynchburg constituencies,” she said.
The COVID-19 pandemic may have put a stop to in-person exhibitions and activities for the time being, but Rothermel and her staff continue to educate — and delight — the Lynchburg community from afar. In May, they collected children’s quarantine art for an online exhibit, and daily posts on Instagram and Facebook ensure followers get a healthy dose of art, wherever they are. The goals: to bring the Daura’s collection to them, and to keep them engaged.
While that’s what the Daura has always done, there’s more to being a museum. In its new role, the Daura is committed to “collection, preservation, interpretation, exhibition, and education,” Rothermel said.
“Museums serve society by advancing an understanding and appreciation of the natural and cultural commonwealth,” the International Council of Museums states in its newly proposed definition. “Museums are participatory and transparent, and work in active partnership with and for diverse communities to collect, preserve, research, interpret, exhibit, and enhance understandings of the world, aiming to contribute to human dignity and social justice, global equality, and planetary well-being.”
Based on the ICOM’s new definition, the Daura Museum’s guiding principles are to model inclusiveness through stimulating, innovative, and compelling programs and exhibitions; to value academic freedom, creative expression, and intellectual discourse; and to be stewards of art and culture through sustainable and responsible oversight.
“We believe that appreciation of the visual arts across time and cultures is one of the most effective ways to become culturally aware global citizens and build a better world,” Rothermel said. “This is more important now than ever. This is our vision for the Daura Museum of Art.”
For more information, visit lynchburg.edu/daura, or email Rothermel at email@example.com or Laura Cole, coordinator of academic and public engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Daura Museum of Art was established in 1974 as the University’s art gallery. The gallery was dedicated in 1990 as the Daura Gallery in memory of the Catalan-American painter Pierre Daura (1896-1976) and his wife, Louise Blair Daura. The collection of works by European and American artists, African art, and world cultures now includes more than 2,500 paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture.