Museum Studies Program {College of Liberal & Creative Arts}

Image: Photos of Sutro Egyptian Collection holdings and program students

Announcing the Tenure-Track Hire of Dr. Victoria Lyall

May 12, 2014---San Francisco State University and the Museum Studies Program are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Victoria Lyall as Associate Professor of Museum Studies to fill the Digital Preservation in Museums position, beginning Fall 2014. Dr. Lyall is currently Associate Curator for Art of the Ancient Americas at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). At LACMA, Dr. Lyall is responsible for collections research, exhibition development, educational programming, and community outreach, and has worked closely with the museum's new media department.  

Dr. Lyall received her Ph.D. in Pre-Columbian art history from UCLA in 2011. She completed her B.A. in anthropology and the history of art from Yale University, and her M.A. in art history from Tulane University. She joined LACMA's curatorial staff in 2004 as a research assistant for Lords of Creation: The Origins of Sacred Maya Kingship (2005), and since then, has worked on exhibitions ranging from Olmec: Colossal Masterworks of Ancient Mexico (2010) and Children of the Plumed Serpent: The Legacy of Quetzalcoatl in Ancient Mexico (2012) to The Painted City: Art from Teotihuacan (2014).  In Fall 2013, she co-curated Chupícuaro: The Natalie Wood Gift of Ancient Mexican Ceramics for the UCLA Fowler Museum's fiftieth anniversary.

Dr. Lyall has received a number of awards and fellowships in support of her exhibitions, including a National Endowment for the Arts exhibition implementation grant, a National Endowment for the Humanities Planning and Implementation grant, the Ethnic Art Council of Los Angeles award for research, and, in 2012 a four-year Mellon foundation grant to support the development of a research program for the Ancient Americas at LACMA.

Dr. Lyall is also Adjunct Professor of Art History at Whittier College, and has supervised interns through the Getty Foundation's Multicultural Internships, which are designed to encourage greater diversity in the professions related to museums and the visual arts.  Dr. Lyall has also taught at UCLA and Santa Monica College, has been a Research Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and has supervised postdoctoral fellows at LACMA. Dr. Lyall speaks and writes Yucatec Maya and is a native Spanish speaker.

Since 2011, Dr. Lyall has focused her attentions on re-conceptualizing FAMSI.org, a landmark website for pre-Columbian studies initially launched in 1997 and acquired by LACMA in 2010. After several years of study and planning, a new site dedicated to providing free and open access to Ancient American research and materials of study--image databases, bibliographies, and digitized books--is set to launch in the summer of 2014, www.ancientamericas.org.

Dr. Lyall's academic research interests have focused on the narrative arts of the ancient Maya during the ninth and tenth centuries AD, specifically investigating issues of bilingualism, literacy, and the ongoing tension between text and image in pre-Columbian narratives from the ancient to the colonial period. She has conducted fieldwork involving the documentation of mural programs across northern Yucatan, collaborated with investigators from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), and presented her work at conferences internationally.

Please join me, Museum Studies faculty and staff, and the Search Committee--Prof. Gwen Allen, Prof. Mark Johnson, and Prof. Santhi Kavuri-Bauer--in welcoming Dr. Lyall to Museum Studies at San Francisco State University.  I know that she is looking forward to working with students, graduates, faculty, and the museum community to help grow our outstanding program.

-- Prof. Edward Luby, Program Director, Museum Studies

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