Tulane University names Maurita Poole as the new director of Newcomb Art Museum

Maurita N. Poole, PhD, the director and curator of the museum at Clark Atlanta University, has accepted the appointment as the new director of the acclaimed Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University.

Poole will oversee the venerable museum, which has received status as the top museum or gallery in the state of Louisiana and one of the 25 best in the United States over the past five years by the American Art Awards.

The mission of the Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University builds on the Newcomb College legacy of education, social enterprise and artistic experience. Presenting inspiring exhibitions and programs that engage communities both on and off-campus, the museum fosters the creative exchange of ideas and cross-disciplinary collaborations around innovative art and design. In addition, the museum preserves and advances scholarship on the Newcomb and Tulane art collections.

“I am pleased to join an institution like The Newcomb Art Museum (NAM) at Tulane because of its commitment to developing socially-engaged initiatives.”

- Maurita N. Poole, the new director of the Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University

“I am pleased to join an institution like the Newcomb Art Museum (NAM) at Tulane because of its commitment to developing socially engaged initiatives,” Poole said. “In these unprecedented times, I believe NAM is an ideal place to explore how the visual arts can help to alleviate suffering and promote social change.” 

“I am excited to watch the Newcomb Art Museum’s progress under Maurita’s leadership. She has done fabulous work at the Clark Atlanta University Art Museum and has the perfect background to ensure NAM continues to do work that is relevant, provocative and inspiring, and engages audiences that reach across our entire campus and New Orleans,” said Robin Forman, Tulane’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.

Poole comes to Tulane following a six-year stint as director of the Clark Atlanta University Art Museum (CAUAM). Her emphasis was on strengthening the organization’s infrastructure and providing opportunities for the next generation of museum professionals. She oversaw the Tina Dunkley Fellowship in American Art, a collaborative Diversity in Art Museum Leadership Initiative (DAMLI) involving CAUAM, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), and the Zuckerman Museum of Art (ZMA). In addition, she developed the Black Optics Artist Residency, a platform that connects artists of African descent from the American South to artists and institutions in the Global South.

Poole was a part of the Center for Curatorial Leadership class of 2020. Her curatorial projects have focused on modern and contemporary African and African Diaspora art and have been supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The National Endowment for the Humanities, Ford Foundation and The Walton Family Foundation.

Poole received her doctorate in cultural anthropology from Emory University and her professional training at the Williams College Museum of Art, The Walters Art Museum, The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. Poole earned her bachelor’s degree in Arabic and Government from Georgetown University.