Discussion with Artist Peter Soriano, installation of Permanent Maintenance
Integrated into the academic mission of the College and the Museum’s program, The Lunder Institute is a research center for American art established by Peter and Paula Lunder.
The Institute creates a unique space for scholarship, creative works, dialogue, and mentorship among visiting scholars and artists, Colby faculty and students, and the central Maine community; facilitates institutional exchange in the United States and internationally; and trains future leaders in the field of American art through the Colby Museum and partner institutions around the world.
To advance critical and creative research in American art and related fields, the Institute hosts a residential program for scholars and artists on campus and in downtown Waterville. Residencies are offered to graduate students, scholars, curators, and emerging and internationally renowned artists who may develop new site-specific works on campus and in the community.

Peter and Paula Lunder

Formerly of Waterville, Maine, Peter and Paula Lunder have strong ties to Colby College and its museum. Mr. Lunder graduated from Colby in 1956, and both Mr. and Mrs. Lunder received honorary degrees from the College in 1998. Mr. Lunder is a life overseer. Mrs. Lunder joined the Board of Trustees in 1998 and served as its Vice Chair in 2003-04. In 2006, she was named a life trustee. Both Mr. and Mrs. Lunder have been committed to the College and the museum and have served on the museum’s Board of Governors since 1995. In that year, they pledged the lead gift to the museum’s Lunder Wing, designed by architect Frederick Fisher and inaugurated in 1999. That same year, they also endowed a curatorial position at the museum, the Lunder Curator of American Art. In 2007, they promised their collection of more than 500 works of art to the College. In 2013, the museum opened the Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion, also designed by Frederick Fisher, to display this major gift. Mr. Lunder was the vice chairman of the Smithsonian Institution’s national board and served on the Board of Commissioners at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where the Lunder Foundation endowed the Lunder Conservation Center and the position of Lunder Education Curator. They also endowed the Lunder Curator of American Art at the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, and the Lunder Curator for Whistler Studies at the Colby Museum. Mr. Lunder serves on the boards of the Harold Alfond Foundation and the Terra Foundation. Mrs. Lunder currently serves on a visiting committee at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Sharon Corwin

Sharon Corwin Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief CuratorCarolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator of the Colby College Museum of Art and Professor of Art Sharon Corwin has overseen the dramatic expansion that led to a doubling of visitors in recent years and has led the successful integration of the museum into the College’s curriculum in innovative ways. Corwin received her Ph.D. in the history of art from the University of California, Berkeley. She has published several books and essays, including, Alex Katz: Maine/New York (Charta, 2012), American Modern: Documentary Photography by Abbott, Evans, and Bourke-White (University of California Press, 2010), and “Picturing Efficiency: Precisionism, Scientific Management, and the Effacement of Labor” (Representations, 2004). A scholar of American art with a strong interest in modernism and photography, she began at Colby as the Lunder Curator of American Art in 2003 and was appointed director in 2006.

About Theaster Gates

Theaster Gates (b. 1973, Chicago), the Distinguished Visiting Artist and Director of Artist Initiatives at the Lunder Institute, has exhibited widely, including group shows such as the Whitney Biennial, New York (2010); dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel (2012); The Spirit of Utopia at Whitechapel, London (2013); and The Studio Museum in Harlem’s When Stars Collide (2014). Solo exhibitions include To Speculate Darkly: Theaster Gates and Dave, the Slave Potter at Milwaukee Art Museum (2010), Seattle Art Museum (2011), MCA Chicago (2013) and The Black Monastic residency at Museu Serralves, Porto (2014). In 2013, Gates was awarded the inaugural Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics. He has since won the Artes Mundi 6 prize (2015) and the Nasher Prize (2018). Gates is also the founder of the non-profit Rebuild Foundation.

About Lee Glazer

Lee Glazer, Freer, Smithsonian

Colby College has named Lee Glazer the founding director of the Lunder Institute for American Art. Currently curator of American art for the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (Freer | Sackler), Glazer is a leading scholar of American art with expertise in a range of areas, including the work of artists Romare Bearden, Thomas Dewing, and James McNeill Whistler.

As founding director, Glazer will establish the institute’s scholarly and creative direction and build programs and collaborations in support of that direction. This will include developing artist residencies and recruiting and selecting artists to participate, organizing symposia and conferences, leading the institute’s engagement with museum and College audiences, and forging relationships that strengthen the museum’s and Colby’s connections with Waterville and Maine.

Read our announcement of Glazer’s appointment.