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Kronewetter Appointed Richard M. Ross Art Museum Director at OWU

September 12, 2002

[ Justin Kronewetter Photo ] DELAWARE, OHIO -- It is hard to imagine that Ohio Wesleyan University's newly renovated Richard M. Ross Art Museum was at one time Delaware's Post Office. The museum's gleaming wooden floors and meticulous white walls will provide the perfect setting for what Justin Kronewetter, OWU fine arts professor and newly appointed director of the Ross Museum, says will be "a gathering place for all members of the academic, Delaware and greater Columbus communities."

They will have their first opportunity to visit the museum on Wednesday, Oct. 23, with the opening of a shared exhibition with the Columbus Museum of Art: A Thousand Hounds: A Walk with the Dog Through the History of Photography.

"We are so pleased to see the completion of the Ross Museum. It represents the dreams of several persons and the vision of Ohio Wesleyan to enrich the program in a special way," says OWU President Tom Courtice.

Making the museum enhancements possible was a generous gift from Mrs. Elizabeth M. Ross, honoring her late husband and president of Ross Laboratories, Richard M. Ross. He was, as Kronewetter explains, a highly accomplished imagemaker who was very dedicated to the field of photography and committed to education and the pursuit of learning.

"Because of the generosity of the Ross family, we finally have exhibition facilities which are professional in every respect, and provide flexibility in terms of various ways we can use the space," says Kronewetter. And that space features two main galleries and a third smaller one, which, as he explains, "will allow us to exhibit more than twice the number of works we could previously display simultaneously." Enhanced lighting, sustained levels of temperature and humidity, improved wall surfaces and more secure and expanded storage facilities for housing the Permanent Teaching Collection are other important museum features.

Kronewetter's role as museum director will continue to evolve over the next year or two, but will initially focus on organizing an annual exhibition program serving the entire community; working with guest curators to create unique thematic exhibitions of objects from OWU's permanent collection; fundraising for endowed chairs and an exhibitor's fund for ongoing exhibitions; and exploring ways to relate art exhibitions to a broad spectrum of courses and specialized programs on campus.

"As the plans for the Ross Museum moved toward reality, it was very clear to everyone involved that Justin Kronewetter was the right choice for the first director," says Courtice. "His passion for the potential of this new facility is reassuring and motivating."