Collaborative agreement signed with Smithsonian Institution and George Mason University

The School of Culture & Creative Arts at the University of Glasgow is delighted to announce the signing of a collaborative agreement with the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, and George Mason University. The agreement, with these world renowned bodies, will promote staff and student exchanges, placement opportunities and research collaboration.

The new collaboration will be formally launched in a summer school to be held in Glasgow in July 2012 which will showcase some of the rich treasures in and around Glasgow. It will be open to students on the Smithsonian-Mason MA in the History of the Decorative Arts and to those students interested in decorative art and architecture world-wide.

It has also been confirmed that Professor Nick Pearce, Head of the School of Culture & Creative Arts at the University of Glasgow, will become the first Exchange Professor at the Smithsonian Institute in March 2012 as part of the MA Program.

Professor Pearce said, “This is fantastic news for the University of Glasgow and indeed for Scotland. Next summer we will welcome our colleagues and partners from the Smithsonian-Mason MA Program to a series of lectures and visits that will showcase some of the great art and architecture of Scotland. Three incredible programmes will be available:   Treasure Houses of Scotland, Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style, and From Gothic to Gothic Revival, featuring lectures from leading specialists and access to some of the greatest buildings and works of art available anywhere in the world.” 

Since 1996 the Smithsonian Institution has been training future leaders in the field of history of decorative arts through its MA program in the History of Decorative Arts. It has offered unique behind-the-scenes study with the nation’s premier names in education and art, providing extensive academic training and professional experience, access to its curators and vast collections as well as connections to its expansive network of professional relationships, communities of research professionals, and state-of-the-art educational and conservation facilities.

The University of Glasgow’s association with the Smithsonian-Mason Program will foster mutual summer study abroad opportunities, semester or year abroad and staff exchanges, and museum internship placements, both in Glasgow and Washington. 

From the Glasgow student and staff perspective, the collaboration will allow an unprecedented opportunity to access to the vast collections of the Smithsonian museums, including the National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Portrait Gallery and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art.


For more information, please contact Peter Aitchison in the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 0141 330 3535; 07766 111244 or email

About The Smithsonian Associates

The Smithsonian Associates offers life-enriching educational and cultural experiences inspired by the Smithsonian’s exhibitions, collections and research. Each year The Smithsonian Associates creates and presents nearly 1,000 individual programs that deliver exceptional opportunities for learning and growth. For audiences of all ages on the National Mall and across the country programs range from lectures, interviews and panel discussions, to performing arts for adults and children, to studio art classes and local tours.

About George Mason University

George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts.

First published: 7 December 2011