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Gordon Knox named new ASU Art Museum director

November 18, 2009

The ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts announced the appointment of Gordon Knox as the new director for the ASU Art Museum. Knox, currently a core collaborator for the Stanford Humanities Lab (SHL) at Stanford University, will begin his duties as museum director on a part-time basis on Jan. 11, 2010, assuming the position full-time July 1.

“Gordon Knox will be a visionary leader for the ASU Art Museum, bringing unique perspectives to the work of redefining the role and purpose of a university art museum” says Kwang-Wu Kim, dean and director of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. “Gordon has a track record of conceiving and directing creative, thought provoking, collaborative programs resulting in opportunities to effect social change and to transform our understanding about art and artists.” 

Knox, whose work explores the transformative role of the arts in society, was recently recognized by Forbes Magazine for his work on collaborative projects at the SHL that brings together experts in the arts, humanities and sciences and engages them in on-the-ground efforts to effect social change. Knox brings to ASU an extensive background in establishing and developing environments that recognize and foster new talents across all art disciplines and mediums. 

"Gordon Knox is deeply committed to engaging with community while connecting the museum to his broad global networks,” Kim says. “Working with our excellent curators and staff, I am confident he will engage artists and audiences in exciting, new conversations about art in the 21st century.”  

Knox believes that ASU’s commitment to broad, lateral access to excellence in education defines much of the still to be explored potential of the ASU Art Museum. 

“The ASU Art Museum is the right place at the right time to activate a new model of how ideas flow from the past to the present to animate the thinking of today and build the communities of tomorrow,” Knox says. “A museum’s job is to provide public access to the full range of humanity’s thinking; combining that commitment with the radical possibilities of ASU today offers the greatest imaginable opportunity. I am both honored and fully activated by being invited to join the ASU team.” 

Previous to the SHL, Knox was the artistic director of the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, Calif., developing ambitious projects such as Edge of Desire, the only West Coast exhibition of a comprehensive collection of recent art from India, and FUSE, a new media collaboration with the CADRE laboratory at San Jose State University. Knox also was the founding director of the Lucas Artists Program, a residency program at Montalvo that identifies exceptional international artists and supports them as they develop new work while in residence in eleven newly designed live/work studios. 

During the 1990s as the founding Director of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy, Knox envisioned and established a center for the arts designed to advance and widen the discourse of contemporary cultural practice by engaging the voices and thinking of practitioners from all parts of the world and providing them with excellent conditions to advance their work. Civitella quickly became a new model for international, multidisciplinary residency programs. 

As a part of the transition to Knox’s directorship, current interim director Heather Lineberry has been named Interim Associate Director and Senior Curator, effective on Knox’s arrival. In that role, Lineberry will work closely with Knox as an administrative partner while also continuing to pursue her curatorial interests. 

The ASU Art Museum continues to examine contemporary issues through multiple ongoing exhibits, highlighted by the ongoing Defining Sustainability season. Defining Sustainability is a series of dynamic and interactive projects to illustrate sustainability ideas on display at the ASU Art Museum and its Ceramics Research Center through January, 2010. Other featured exhibitions include the latest subject of the Social Studies project, Jillian McDonald: Alone Together in the Dark, and I’m Keeping an Eye On You, a video exploration of the broad and lasting effects of our curiosity in and intrusions upon others.  

Comprised of a dynamic combination of disciplines, the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University is at the forefront of the investigation of creativity and creative practice shaping the 21st century. Many of the institute's programs consistently rank in the top ten of national peers and encompass over 45 areas of study within its seven schools: architecture and landscape architecture; art; arts, media and engineering; dance; design; music; and theatre and film. The ASU Art Museum, the Herberger Institute Research Center, and Future Arts Research @ ASU support our research initiatives. The Community School for Design and the Arts and our Community Engagement projects enable students and faculty to interact with the public through meaningful partnerships. To learn more about the institute, visit