MSU Broad Art Museum Announces Interim Director Steven L. Bridges – MSUToday | Candle Made Easy


Steven L. Bridges. Photo by Eat Pomegranate Photography.

The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University is pleased to announce that Steven L. Bridges has been appointed interim director, effective July 7.

“I hold this museum and this university very dearly, along with the many communities we serve – all of which have enriched me personally and professionally over the years,” said Bridges. “As such, it is a great honor to assume the role of interim director in the continued service of MSU’s commitment to the arts. In this important 10th anniversary year of the MSU Broad Art Museum, there is much to explore to celebrate not only past achievements, but also our current and future direction. I look forward to working with the incredible staff at the museum and the communities we are a part of to usher in the next decade of growth and cultural advancement.”

Bridges is a curator, art historian, and writer based in Lansing, Michigan. Most recently, he held the positions of senior curator and director of curatorial affairs at the MSU Broad Art Museum, roles he will retain as part of this transition.

During his time at the museum, Bridges has helped guide staff through past transitions, providing institutional memory alongside a forward-looking approach to the changing role of museums in the 21st century.

“Mr. Bridges has the academic background, professional experience, and personal knowledge of the MSU Broad Art Museum that make him the ideal interim director during this time of transition,” said MSU Provost Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D. “It is a time of growing momentum for the MSU Broad Art Museum, and I have every confidence in Steven and the museum’s excellent staff to keep that momentum going.”

Bridges has been with the museum for six years, during which time he has led the institution’s curatorial program. In recent years, Bridges has curated the major group shows History Told Slant (2022), Seeds of Resistance (2021), InterStates of Mind (2020–21), and the major solo show Beverly Fishman: Recovery (2022). His current research and curatorial interests focus on the intersection of social, racial, and ecological justice, and the relationship between art, geopolitics, and scientific inquiry. Bridges has also been a vocal advocate of greater visibility and recognition of the importance of artistic research in the context of an R-1-designated research university like MSU.

Bridges joined the MSU Broad Art Museum in 2015 from the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and holds two master’s degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago: one in art history, theory and criticism and the other in art administration and policy. He is a member of Independent Curators International, the Association of Art Museum Curators, the Association of Midwest Museums, and the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries.

As a committed member of the community, Bridges works closely with community members on and off campus locally, nationally and internationally to build and strengthen relationships while promoting the inclusion and sense of belonging that are core values ​​of MSU Wide Art Museum. Bridges has also played an integral role in shaping the museum’s ongoing reflections on issues surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion, particularly in relation to the museum’s larger creative program. This includes revising the museum’s collections management and acquisitions policy to place an emphasis on artists who were historically underrepresented and undervalued. Bridges has also been integral to the expansion of the museum network, the development of new partnerships within and outside the university, and the continued development of the museum as a key hub of creative activity in the region. Through this effort, the MSU Broad Art Museum is currently partnering with the Stamps Gallery at the University of Michigan and the Flint Institute of Arts to jointly present concurrent exhibitions of LaToya Ruby Frazier’s Flint Is Family in Three Acts.

The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University (MSU Broad Art Museum) connects people with art through experiences that inspire curiosity and inquisitiveness. The MSU Broad Art Museum presents exhibitions and programs that engage diverse communities on issues of local relevance and global importance, and promotes the university’s values ​​of quality, inclusion, and connectivity. Opened November 10, 2012, the museum was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid and named in honor of Eli and Edythe Broad, longtime university supporters who provided the leading gift for the museum’s construction.

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