The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 2005, and 2007.
Gail Andrews is the R. Hugh Daniel Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art, a position she has held since 1996. Prior to that, she served in a variety of curatorial and administrative positions, beginning in 1976 as the Museum's first Curator of Decorative Arts.
As Acting Director in 1991-92, she guided the Museum through its $21 million expansion and renovation, a project that resulted in the largest municipal museum in the southeast. The Museum is widely recognized as one of the strongest regional museums in the country with a collection of over 25,000 objects and specific areas of collection strength that are unparalleled. The Museum also offers a rich variety of education and outreach programs.
Under Ms. Andrews' leadership, the Museum launched an active exhibition schedule, bringing outstanding temporary exhibitions to the state of Alabama. Simultaneously, the Museum initiated ambitious projects that traveled nationally and internationally, each accompanied by scholarly publications showcasing new research. The Museum has also become a more active community partner, working with a variety of organizations to enhance the educational and outreach mission of the Museum.
A California native, Ms. Andrews graduated from the College of William and Mary and received her Masters degree from the Cooperstown Graduate Programs. She has written or contributed to over twenty-five publications, primarily in her speciality areas of folk art and textiles, and was the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts to further her study of southern-made textiles.
Ms. Andrews is active in a variety of arts and educational organizations in Birmingham and has served on the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the Birmingham Arts Commission, the University of Alabama at Birmingham Leadership Cabinet, and the Region 20/20 Arts and Culture Task Force of which she was co-chair. She was a member of the first class of Leadership Birmingham and is an alumna of Leadership Alabama.
Also active with professional organizations, Ms. Andrews has served as a board member and treasurer for the Association of Art Museum Directors, as a reviewer for the accreditation committee of the American Association of Museums, and as a peer review panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum Services.
Ms. Andrews has two children – Julia, in her third year at the University of Virginia, and Andrew, a freshman at The Altamont School.