Museum of Art

Museum of Art
Museum of Art Gallery
The Museum of Art is closed

For information on the closure of the Museum of Art, please read the statement of closure from Kristina L. Durocher, Director: 


January 26, 2024  

Dear Friends, Faculty, Staff, and Students,  

It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the closure of the Museum of Art. As dedicated museum professionals and custodians of works of art held in the public trust, we have been honored to serve as the arts and cultural leader of the University System of New Hampshire, bringing exceptional art exhibitions and programs to all of you.  

The University’s decision to close the museum was, I am told, a difficult one, brought on by declining enrollment, and it comes with a mix of emotions. Plans were underway to replace the Museum’s HVAC system in the spring of 2024, an investment that would have aided our efforts to seek accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. Accreditation recognizes institutions that meet the highest standards and qualifications in our field, opening the door to private and public grants and assuring donors of the professionalism of the Museum to safeguard their loans and gifts of art. Because this construction project was scheduled to begin December 6, 2023, the announcement on January 16, 2024, to close the Museum of Art came as a shock. The University has faced numerous challenges in the past, and unfortunately, the timetable for the Museum of Art to weather current financial and operational constraints was too short and unpredictable for us to continue.   

We want to express our deepest gratitude to each and every one of you who has supported us throughout the years. To the faculty who have utilized the Museum’s collection and exhibitions in your teaching or collaborated with us on programs, we are immensely grateful for the risks you took incorporating art into your curricula and introducing your students to the visual arts. To students who worked alongside us or who exhibited in the Museum, your passion for the arts has energized and enriched our work, you continue to dazzle us with your resiliency and creativity. To our Friends and supporters, your attendance at exhibitions, participation in our educational programs, and your contributions have enhanced the cultural fabric of our community. And lastly, to former employees at the Museum of Art, thank you for your numerous and extraordinary contributions. It was a privilege to build upon the foundation you laid; your exemplary work cemented the reputation of the Museum of Art as an arts destination for the entire State.  

It is heartening and bittersweet to reflect on the countless memories and moments we have shared during my tenure. I arrived at the University of New Hampshire twelve years ago to infuse object-based learning into the furthest reaches of the academy and elevate the exhibition program to present works of art that raised awareness of pressing social issues. We did this successfully with conviction, pride, and in alignment with the University’s priority to contribute to students’ academic achievements.  

Our work, in partnerships with faculty, the students who have served as fellows or gallery attendants, and our many friendships formed across campus and in the community, has fulfilled our purpose to serve in higher education, and brought us joy. The insightful discussions sparked by our exhibitions, and the collective appreciation for art and creativity – these are the treasures that we will cherish after our time at UNH ends.  

Since 1941, there have been exhibitions of works of art on campus, including loans from storied institutions such as National Gallery of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Institute; in 1950 a donation of European paintings formed the basis of the Museum’s collection; in 1960 the gallery was centrally located in the newly built Paul Creative Arts Center; in 1971 we began to institute best-practices under the leadership of a professional gallery director and board of advisors; and in 2010 the Art Gallery was renamed the Museum of Art in recognition of our role as stewards of a growing art collection. And I, as president of the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries, and a respected museum professional, am wounded to be at the head of an academic museum that after 60 years is closing.  

It is unusual for an R1 university and a flagship land grant university to be without a museum and yet, here we are. It is our wish that members of the public, students, staff, and faculty of the University continue to advocate for the arts as essential to a public university's educational mission. While the Museum of Art and its role on campus may be coming to a close, we hope that the appreciation for art and art history and its expression on campus will be reinvigorated and transformed by a new and capable generation.   

We extend our heartfelt thanks to the dedicated staff, volunteers, donors, and supporters who have been an integral part of our journey. Your passion and commitment have made a lasting impact, and we are grateful for the shared moments of inspiration and learning. And to the hundreds of artists who have trusted the Museum of Art to exhibit their works of art, thank you for helping us see the world in new and unexpected ways.  

As we bid farewell to the Museum of Art, we do so with a sense of gratitude for the wonderful community that has surrounded us. While the gallery lights are off, the memories and friendships formed will continue to shine for years to come.  


Thank you for being a part of the history of the Museum of Art.  


With deepest appreciation,  

Kristina L. Durocher  



Questions regarding the future of the gallery spaces  and collection can be addressed to Michele Dillon, Dean, College of Liberal Arts 

Questions regarding past donations and gifts can be addressed to Amanda Haney, Director of Gift & Data Management