M. Jordan Love
M. Jordan Love is the academic curator at The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia. She has overseen the education department since 2012, when initial funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation facilitated the creation of the position. Love's career as an architectural historian, educator and museum curator spans more than 20 years.
Love teaches a combined museum studies class and internship program, which includes a student-curated exhibition. Organized annually by The Fralin’s student interns under Love’s guidance, this exhibition is a valuable component of the class experience. Love works directly with members of the University faculty to include the museum's temporary exhibitions and permanent collections in their classroom activities and to involve faculty as both guest speakers and curators for their own exhibitions. She also teaches undergraduate courses in the McIntire Department of Art that utilize the museum’s permanent collection.
As part of her outreach efforts, Love has developed Clinician’s Eye, a workshop in partnership with the UVA School of Medicine. Clinician’s Eye, uses art analysis as a tool for medical students to improve their observational and diagnostic skills. She also creates art-based workshops for HeArt of Medicine, a student-run inter-professional program, offering innovative end-of-life education for nursing and medical students at the University of Virginia.
Love earned a Ph.D. in art history from Columbia University, where she taught Art Humanities in the Core Curriculum and focused her dissertation research on medieval art and architecture, specifically the development, design, and impact of new town planning in southwest France. She also studied Oceanic art, a choice influenced by her experience of living on Easter Island for a year as a child. Love earned a bachelor's degree, cum laude in Art History and Economics from Wellesley College in Wellesley, Mass.
A native of Wyoming, Love first gained experience working in museums at the Sweetwater County Historical Museum, where she worked with objects once owned by Butch Cassidy. She honed her passion for museum education and curatorial experience at the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Mass., and at The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Museum in Williamstown, Mass. The opportunity to be involved in curating, education, marketing and press efforts expanded her role and interaction with the collections and exhibitions, while furthering her mission of making art accessible.
Under her tenure, the number of university departments using the museum to enrich their curriculum has risen to 25 and includes History, Drama, Religious Studies, French, English and Anthropology as well as Art History, Studio Art, Architecture, Media Studies and Medicine. Each year, 40% of the College's departments have a museum component in their curriculum and more than 1,900 of UVA's undergraduates, or 11.3%, used the museum for a percentage of their academic work.
(Photograph by Dan Addison/UVA Public Affairs)