Staff profiles: Michael Rush
It isn’t often that one gets to start a new museum.
But because of the generosity of Eli and Edythe Broad, the architectural vision of Zaha Hadid, and the enthusiasm of MSU staff, faculty, students and alumni — Michael Rush gets to do just that.
“In many ways, the new Broad Art Museum is a start-up,” said Rush, founding director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum. “It’s a great opportunity for someone in my line of work.”
Since his arrival on campus in January, Rush has spent much of his time hiring staff and raising funds to complete the building project and sustain the museum, which is slated to open in spring 2012.
“Another thing that I’ve been doing, very importantly, is trying to meet as many people as I can all around the campus,” Rush said. “I’ve also been traveling a fair amount meeting alums.”
“I’ve been so impressed with the range of interest and excellence here at MSU,” he said. “From day one, there’s been a clear expression of a genuine global interest on the part of MSU and wanting this museum to be part of that global identity of the university.”
MSU’s global outreach will be reflected in the museum’s exhibitions, Rush said.
“The exhibition program is going to emphasize international creative thought and practice, particularly representing countries where Michigan State already has a strong stake,” Rush said. “Our programs are going to reflect this international thinking.”
Rush said that the Broad Art Museum is unique for a contemporary art museum because few, if any, have an historical collection as part of their existence. The museum is embracing the collection in MSU’s Kresge Art Museum, which for years has been in want of more space.
“People are going to see history presented dynamically, and a lot of contemporary thought and practice from artists around the world in dialogue with each other,” Rush said. “It’s going to be really amazing.”
For an in-depth Q&A with Rush, read more>>