The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum
and Art Gallery
The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery
The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College was founded in a visionary leap of faith. Designed by Antoine Predock and opened in 2000, its charge was to break the traditional mold of the college art museum and reinvent how a museum could play a catalytic interdisciplinary teaching role across the curriculum in a rigorous, undergraduate liberal arts education. Skidmore envisioned the Tang as more than an art museum, and its founding director, Charles Stainback, referred to it as “a museum of ideas, not objects.” Yet the Tang Museum was also created to strengthen and publicly express Skidmore’s considerable heritage as a center for the arts and its program has reflected that history admirably in its first six years, bringing a wealth of contemporary art and artists to campus.
Through the campaign, we look to build upon the equity the Tang has rapidly accrued for the College as a center of innovative museum practice, particularly within the higher education arena. Deepening the Tang’s capacity to execute and expand our distinctive teaching role will be pursued while maintaining our standing as a strong visual arts institution. Additionally, we will seek the capacity to more effectively disseminate the meaning of a college “teaching museum” and further establish the Tang as a model to be emulated nationally. The Tang and Skidmore are perfectly positioned to occupy a singular place in the college museum world. To convert on this opportunity will require expansion of the Museum’s already healthy base of support, providing the opportunity for strategic, carefully calibrated growth in key areas that will allow the Museum to deepen its innovative teaching role.
In just six years, the Tang has created a new paradigm for college museums. To expand our capacity to encourage innovative, interdisciplinary teaching and learning we will provide:
- More curatorial support for faculty-student museum collaborations
- A dynamic Web site that extends the museum's reach well beyond the campus
- More support for faculty development in order to extend the use of exhibitions throughout the curriculum