> Gail Andrews has served as R. Hugh Daniel Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art since 1996.She first joined the Museum in 1976 as Curator of Decorative Arts, subsequently serving as Assistant Director and Acting Director.Andrews graduated from the College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, and received her Master's degree in American Folk Culture from the Cooperstown Graduate Program, New York.She also attended the Winterthur Institute at the Winterthur Museum and the Attingham Summer School in England where she pursued further studies in decorative arts.
An acknowledged authority on folk art and textiles, she
has written numerous articles and catalogues including Black Belt to Hill Country: Alabama Made Quilts; Southern Quilts: A New View, quilt and needlework chapters for Made in Alabama: A State Legacy, the introduction to the book Revelations: Alabama's Visionary Folk Artists, and edited and contributed essays to Pictured in My Mind: Contemporary American Self-Taught Art. As Director, Andrews has overseen several groundbreaking exhibitions and helped establish the Birmingham Museum of Art as an important presenter of works rarely seen in America, including The First Emperor: Treasures from Ancient China, which opened in July 1996 and was the first exhibition in the U.S. to focus on the First Emperor, with 14 life-size terra-cotta figures, among other objects.
Major exhibitions during her
tenure also include Kamisaka Sekka: Rimpa Masterâ€•Pioneer of Modern Design, the first retrospective of the artist, which opened in May 2004.
A passionate believer in the transformative role of museums in the cultural life of the community, Andrews
is actively involved in a variety of arts and educational organizations locally, regionally, and nationally.She was a member of the 1983 Leadership Birmingham class, a member of the 1997-98 Leadership Alabama program, and is a member of the Rotary Club of Birmingham.In June 2007, she was elected President of the Association of Art Museum Directors.