University of San Diego Announces New Galleries Director

Derrick R. Cartwright, a distinguished curator, arts administrator and scholar, has joined the University of San Diego as Director of University Galleries and Professor of Practice, announced USD Executive Vice President and Provost Julie Sullivan.

Most recently, Cartwright served as the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director of the Seattle Art Museum. He previously was the director of the San Diego Museum of Art from 2004 to 2009. In this newly created position at USD, Cartwright will oversee and manage all university galleries and their related collections. Those include the Hoehn Family Print Room, the Robert and Karen Hoehn Family Galleries, the Fine Art Galleries in the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice and the David W. May American Indian Collection and Gallery.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Cartwright back to San Diego,” Provost Sullivan said. “I know our galleries and related educational programs will flourish under his passionate and experienced leadership. Dr. Cartwright will be responsible for developing strong curricular connections between the galleries and academic departments, growing student engagement through innovative programs, cultivating supporters and ensuring best practices for all of USD’s collection and exhibition efforts.”

Cartwright also will participate actively in the faculty life of the university, especially in the Department of Art, Art History and Architecture, where he will be a Professor of Practice, teaching one or two courses a year. This fall, he will teach a seminar entitled “What Was American Art?”

"I began my professional life as an assistant professor at USD and have always felt a deep attachment to this special place,” Cartwright said. “I am delighted to be returning to campus at this exciting time. The university's administration shares a compelling vision for the presence and coordination of the galleries throughout campus. I want to contribute to that by growing the collections, developing significant projects with colleagues on both faculty and staff, and by creating innovative programs that benefit the students at USD."

EVP and Provost Sullivan also extended her gratitude to Mary Whelan, executive director of Institutional Design. “In addition to her full-time duties, she has been overseeing our galleries and has led us to this exciting milestone.”

Cartwright is already working closely with Print Room Curator Victoria Sancho Lobis. He was invited last year to curate an exhibition in the Hoehn Family Galleries that will open shortly. “Character & Crisis: Printmaking in America, 1920-1950,” explores the period during the Great Depression when American identity was reflected in a variety of print media that grappled with sweeping political, social and economic change. The exhibition features works by more than 40 artists, including Edward Hopper, Thomas Hart Benton and Isabel Bishop. All works date from the years between the stock market crash and World War II. "Character and Crisis" runs from Sept. 14 to Dec. 14. in the Hoehn Family Galleries in Founders Hall.

In addition to his work in Seattle and San Diego, Cartwright led the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College from 2001 to 2004 and the Musée d’Art Americain Giverny in Normandy, France from 1998 to 2000. He has also served as a trustee of the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Downtown Seattle Association, and the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, where he served as president from 2008 to 2009.

Cartwright has taught a variety of art history and museum courses to undergraduates at the University of California, Berkeley; Columbia University’s Paris Program at Reid Hall; Dartmouth College; the University of California at San Diego, and USD.

He is the author of dozens of articles and catalogue essays on the history of American painting, photography, public art and Franco-American cultural exchange. He is currently working on a book about change in the lives of 20th-century American artists, focusing on definitional moments in the careers of Marsden Hartley, Jacob Lawrence, Jackson Pollock, and Eva Hesse. Cartwright holds art history degrees from UC Berkeley (AB), UCLA (MA) and the University of Michigan (PhD).

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.