Staff of the Kluge-Ruhe Collection

Margo Smith, director


Margaret Smith

Margo Smith (BA Willam & Mary; MA, PhD U.Va.) is the director and curator of the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection at the University of Virginia. She has a PhD in Anthropology from U.Va. and conducted fieldwork in central Australia from 1991-1993. She co-edited Art From the Land: Dialogues with the Kluge-Ruhe Collection of Australian Aboriginal Art with Dr. Howard Morphy published by the University of Virginia in 1999. Smith has worked with the Collection since 1995 and has taught various courses on Aboriginal art at U.Va. since 2003.

read U.VA. Profile


Nicole Wade, collections manager and registrar


Nicole Wade

Nicole Wade (BA, UVa; MA UNM) holds a BA in Anthropology from UVa, a MA in Archeaology from the University of New Mexico, and a Graduate Certificate in Museum Collection Management and Care from George Washington University. In addition to her comprehensive background in collections management and conservation, Wade brings significant experience working with American Indian communities. Previously she was Assistant Registrar at the Fralin Museum of Art.


Lauren Maupin, office administrator / education and program coordinator


Lauren Maupin

Lauren Maupin (BA, Messiah College; MA, UCL) provides educational, programmatic, administrative, and fiscal support to the Kluge-Ruhe Collection. She has an MA in the History of Art from University College London, and brings work experience from a number of art galleries internationally, several art historians, and an independent curator. She also teaches an introductory art history course at Piedmont Virginia Community College.


Megan Plant, museum assistant


Megan Plant

Megan Plant (BA, UVa; MEd, UVa) supports all aspects of museum operations with specific emphasis on educational programming. Megan began working at the Kluge-Ruhe Collection as an intern through the Institute of Public History in the summer of 2012. She continued as a student employee while completing her Master Degree at UVa’s School of Education. Megan also works as a Children’s Specialist at Jefferson-Madison Regional Library.


Howard Morphy, adjunct curator

Professor Howard Morphy (BSc, M Phil London; PhD, ANU) has served as advisor to the Kluge-Ruhe Collection since 1995. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in northeast Arnhem Land and is currently the Director of the Research School of the Humanities and Arts at Australian National University. Dr. Morphy is the author of several books including Ancestral Connections: Art and an Aboriginal System of Knowledge (University of Chicago Press), Aboriginal Art (Phaidon) and, with Marcus Banks, Rethinking Visual Anthropology (Yale University Press).