Andrew Maus received his B.A. in Studio Art with emphases in painting and drawing from MSUM’s School of Visual Arts in 2002. Following, he pursued a graduate degree in Public Administration, which he received in 2011. Maus now works as the Executive Director of the Minnesota Marine Art Museum. Located in Winona, the Minnesota Marine Art Museum exhibits myriad historical and contemporary exhibitions as well as hosts educational experiences for thousands of people each year. The Museum’s exhibitions and programs are inspired by one of the highest quality collections of art in the country.
Maus began his career in museum-related work while he was an undergraduate through work as a gallery attendant at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota. Maus recalls that what impressed him was “how great it is to connect the public with art. It became fulfilling to work for something bigger than myself and I felt fortunate to work in the arts.” A few years after receiving his undergraduate degree, Maus became the museum’s Curator of Public Programming and eventually the Director of Education. Additionally, he served in the capacity of Interim Curator. At this point, he had gathered all the experiences needed to assume the Executive Director position at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum.
Maus recalls his undergraduate years in the School of Visual Arts as key to his eventual success. “The biggest thing that the Art Department facilitated in me was the ability to question EVERYTHING. As an artist, creating work became more about visual innovation than anything else. And classes in Art History and Aesthetics were exciting because looking at art became an intellectual exercise in striving for understanding other people, and understanding the decision-making processes behind creation. These abilities and awareness are inherent leadership traits, and I would not be who I am today if it were not for the MSUM Art Department.”
Maus advises students who are interested in museum management to get an undergraduate art degree and a more pragmatic graduate degree that relates to their specific interest in museum work. Degree areas they might consider include administration, museum studies, education, art history, or even an MBA. “Also,” he adds, “be prepared to start at an entry-level position and work harder than you think you will!”