|Alma mater||University of Kansas|
|Thesis||American Paintings and Sculpture in the Fine Arts Building of the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893 (1976)|
|Influences||Charles C. Eldredge|
|Institutions||Spencer Museum of Art|
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Elizabeth "Betsy" Broun (born December 15, 1946 in Kansas City) is an American art historian and curator. Broun served as the Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum from 1989 to 2016, and is the longest-serving female director in the history of the Smithsonian Institution.
Born in Kansas City, but raised in Independence, Kansas, Broun completed all of her degrees from the University of Kansas: a Bachelor of Arts in French and Art History in 1968, a Master of Arts in Art History in 1969, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Art History in 1976. Her doctoral dissertation was on American art at the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893.
In the early 1970s, Broun began her career in museums as a Ford Foundation Curatorial Fellow at the Walters Art Museum. Upon completing her doctorate, she remained at the University of Kansas as Assistant Professor of Art History, as well as the Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Spencer Museum of Art until 1983. In her final year at the museum, Broun also served as acting director, succeeding Charles C. Eldredge, who to become Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
In 1983, Broun followed Eldredge to the Smithsonian American Art Museum and became Chief Curator and Assistant Director there. Five years later, she succeeded him and was elevated to Margaret and Terry Stent Director, becoming the first female to serve in that role. Broun held the post until retirement in 2016, making her one of the longest standing directors and the longest serving female director in the history of the Smithsonian Institution. She was succeeded by Stephanie Stebich. Broun oversaw two major museum renovations during her tenure, including the $250-million main building project from 2000 to 2006, and refurbishing the Renwick Gallery from 2013 to 2015. Major exhibitions under her directorship included The West as America (1991) and The Art of Video Games (2012).
In 2017, Broun was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her own curatorial work has concerned artists such as Thomas Hart Benton, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Pat Steir, and Anders Zorn.
- The Prints of Anders Zorn (1979)
- Benton's Bentons: Selections from the Thomas Hart Benton and Rita P. Benton Trusts (1980)
- Form, Illusion, Myth: Prints and Drawings of Pat Steir (1983)
- Images on Stone: Two Centuries of Artists' Lithographs (1987)
- Albert Pinkham Ryder (1989)
- Free Within Ourselves: African-American Artists in the Collection of the National Museum of American Art (1992)
- List of American Academy of Arts and Sciences members (2006–2019)
- List of female art museum directors
- List of people from Kansas City
- List of University of Kansas people
- ^ a b "Meet the Museums' Directors". washingtonpost .com. Washington Post Co. June 25, 2006. Retrieved 8 May 2022.
- ^ https://kuprimo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/f/189fe9r/KU_VOYAGER313499
- ^ "Elizabeth Broun, PhD". Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity. The University of Kansas. Retrieved 8 May 2022.
- ^ "Elizabeth Broun | College of Liberal Arts & Sciences". Archived from the original on 2014-06-19. Retrieved 2014-06-20.
- Smithsonian profile Archived 2014-05-15 at the Wayback Machine
- 1946 births
- Living people
- People from Kansas City, Missouri
- People from Independence, Kansas
- 20th-century American women
- 21st-century American women
- University of Kansas alumni
- University of Kansas faculty
- American art curators
- American art historians
- American women curators
- Directors of museums in the United States
- Smithsonian Institution people