MELBOURNE, FLA. — Sarah Smith, the collections manager of Florida Institute of Technology’s Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, has been named director of collections for university museums.
In this newly created position, Smith is responsible for the overall management, care and stewardship of the art collections of both the textile center and the university’s Foosaner Art Museum. She also schedules and oversees exhibition installation and participates in policy formation and strategic decision-making related to the exhibition calendar and art acquisitions.
“In her new position, Sarah will ensure the preservation of the collection and advance the professional standards of both museums,” said Carla Funk, Florida Tech’s director of university museums. “Her impressive knowledge of collections-care requirements and practices, combined with her enthusiasm for the growth of our university museums, will greatly benefit Florida Tech.”
The collections at both museums are expanding, necessitating personnel moves and additional staffing to care for the art and assist with exhibit installations, Funk said. The art museum currently houses over 5,000 objects and the textile center has acquired over 1,000 objects during its five-year existence.
Smith, who has been working for Florida Tech since 2012, has a master’s degree in museum studies from the University of Florida and more than seven years of museum experience. She reports to the director of university museums.
In a related personnel move, Madeline Sweeney has been named to the newly created position of assistant collections manager at the textile center. Sweeney is responsible for the organization and care of the Funk Center’s permanent textiles collection and loaned objects. In addition, she assists with exhibition design and installations.
Sweeney, who earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from Auburn University in 2013 with a concentration in painting and drawing, most recently worked part-time as a gallery assistant at the Foosaner Art Museum and an unpaid intern at the textile center.
“Madeline’s fine arts degree provided her with an excellent skill set for collections management,” Funk said. “She’s very creative and will be a great asset to the University Museums team.”
In her new position, Smith will supervise both Sweeney and Jose Marquez, collections manager at the art museum.