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Posted 04.10.06

MU Names Alex Barker Director of Art & Archeology Museum

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- University of Missouri-Columbia College of Arts and Science Dean Richard Schwartz recently announced the appointment of Alex Barker as the new director of the Museum of Art and Archeology beginning April 15. Barker will replace Jane Biers, who had served as interim director since 2003. Barker will have an appointment in anthropology.

"Not only will he be in charge of bringing in first-class exhibits, but he'll be taking care of the valuable artifacts the museum already contains," said Michael O'Brien, associate dean of the College of Arts and Science and director of the Museum of Anthropology, who headed the search committee that selected Barker. "We wanted a world-class individual running the museum. We believe Dr. Barker is that person."

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Barker is currently the vice president for Collections and Research and chair of the anthropology section of the Milwaukee Public Museum. He earned his master's in anthropology from Wichita State University in 1988 and his doctorate from the University of Michigan in 1999.

At the Milwaukee Public Museum he brought in an exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls and worked with Vatican officials to bring in the 10,000 square foot Saint Peter and the Vatican: Legacy of the Popes exhibit. The National Science Foundation, Institute for Museum and Library Services, National Geographic Society Committee for Exploration and Research, have all recognized and supported his work.

"It is a privilege to serve as director of the museum and help it secure further resources, expand its programmatic offerings, increase levels of community engagement and national visibility, and to advance its mission," Barker said.

The Museum of Art and Archeology was established in 1957 in what is now known as Pickard Hall on the MU campus. The hall was named after John Pickard, first chair of the Department of Art History and Archaeology, due to his collection of artworks which was the original display in the museum. The museum continues to serve the teaching and research programs of the MU student body and the community, and it continues to seek out original art and artifacts.



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