Daniel Tucker selected to head UArts’ MA in Museum Studies Program

May 30, 2023

Beginning July 1, Philadelphia-based artist, curator, educator and writer Daniel Tucker will assume the position of associate professor and director of University of the Arts MA in Museum Studies program. Tucker joins UArts from Moore College of Art and Design, where, as an associate professor and program director, he placed an emphasis on community engagement and arts administration.

Tucker succeeds Mickey Maley as director. Maley, who joined UArts in 2019, worked closely with his UArts Graduate and Professional Studies colleagues to envision and implement the MA in Museum Studies in fall 2022. The program’s launch combined the university’s master's programs in Museum Education and Museum Communication to create a one-year intensive program with a shared academic core. Maley will remain in his visiting assistant professor role until August 15 to provide continuity for the Museum Studies students who are completing their final theses and internships.

At Moore, Tucker was founding director of its graduate Socially Engaged Art department. Later, he restructured several elements of the program and shifted its curriculum from low residency to a more conventional academic schedule. He collaborated with other departments to reconfigure the school’s graduate studies to align administratively with the Fine Arts and Liberal Arts undergraduate curriculum where he also taught courses in curatorial studies and collaborative art. Tucker was also responsible for significant partnerships with external organizations, resulting in numerous lectures and symposia, as well as experiential learning opportunities with students. During his time at Moore, there were significant increases to the college’s scholarship and fellowship structure for its graduate students, resulting in graduate assistantships and an elevated number of students who received tuition-reducing fellowships.

“I couldn't be more excited to be joining UArts at this juncture in the school’s rich history,” Tucker said. “Between the centers launched by President and CEO David Yager and the excitement around the arrival of new president Kerry Walk, there is a great deal of change happening at the university. That change is also being experienced by our students, who are living and working in a world with massive challenges that require creative approaches to social and environmental justice that ground my own pedagogical and professional commitments. It is also an exciting moment in the museum field, where basic assumptions about how these institutions are organized and what programs are prioritized are being rethought in exciting and urgent ways. Just walking around UArts, I feel how alive the campus is, and I’m thrilled to be part of that energy.”

Across his academic and studio practices, Tucker focuses on helping artists and activists create compelling and impactful work. He is a recognized leader and collaborator who is often sought to consult on curatorial and programming projects across the nation. His work in the museum field is extensive and has included serving on the College Art Association’s Museum Committee, co-organizing the Grassroots Archiving Summit with the collective Never The Same and the 15th International Conference on the Inclusive Museum last year.

Tucker’s artwork often takes the form of maps, image archives, publications and video essays and has been shown in venues such as Commonwealth & Council gallery in Los Angeles, Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, Albuquerque Museum, Mass MoCA, Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago and many other institutions internationally. His work can also be regularly found at protests; in the streets; and among front yards, bus tours and rooftops.

The exhibitions he has curated have traveled widely including Organize Your Own, an exhibition about racial justice, which toured from 2016 to 2020, and his most recent emerged from the book Lastgaspism: Art and Survival in the Age of Pandemic, which he co-authored, and was later celebrated as one of the best art books of 2022 by Hyperallergic. Tucker has contributed writing to numerous monographs, catalogs and journals. Evident in all of his work is a special interest in social movements and the people and places from which they emerge.

Prior to joining Moore, Tucker taught at Art Institute of Chicago, Ox-Bow School of Art and University of Chicago. He received his BFA in Exhibition Studies and Video from Art Institute of Chicago and his MFA in Studio Arts from University of Illinois at Chicago, where he was a university and dean’s fellow. Concurrent with the start of his time at UArts, Tucker will also begin his term as the research network chair for Arts in Society.

Photo by Left Eyed Studios