Jim Corrigan, Curator, University of Alberta Art Collection
“Jim quietly modelled the highest ideals of aesthetic and intellectual enquiry, and he unfailingly assisted others… who also sought to appreciate and learn from the riches of the university’s art collection.” – Walter B. Davis
Jim Corrigan worked with the University of Alberta Museums for 36 years, between 1981 and 2017. In 1998, Jim became Curator of the University of Alberta Art Collection, a job he deeply loved until his passing in 2017.
As Curator, Jim integrated his expertise as an artist with his knowledge of exhibition design. Jim curated or co-curated over 40 exhibitions for the University of Alberta Art Collection, including A Little Bit of Infinity, his last exhibition and a tribute to the University of Alberta’s print collection. His love and enthusiasm for curating also came through in the way he worked with students and members of the public in the Print Study Centre. His direct, honest, and insightful way of speaking about art helped to enrich the educational value of the Print Study Centre and the over 3,600 prints it holds.
Jim’s knowledge of the Art Collection was unparalleled and his expertise was sought after and well-respected within the art and academic community. The cross-campus nature of the Art Collection revealed Jim’s incomparable ability to connect with a wide range of audiences at the University through art. It was through relationships such as these that Jim’s reputation of not only being an excellent curator, but an excellent friend and colleague, flourished.
Throughout his career at the University of Alberta, Jim was an invited lecturer, teacher, art administrator, and speaker at many organizations and conferences and was a representative on several University committees such as the Art Acquisition Committee and Policy and Planning Committee. Jim was always one of the strongest advocates for the University of Alberta Museums, and found continuous joy in the works of art and the people he worked with.