James Steward joined the Princeton University Art Museum as its director in April 2009. Since that time, Steward has launched a number of initiatives to position the Museum at the heart of the University experience, including expanding the Museum's program of exhibitions and educational activities as well as its open hours and outreach efforts. He is a Lecturer with the rank of Professor in the Department of Art and Archaeology, and a Faculty Fellow of Rockefeller College. Prior to coming to Princeton, he served from 1998 to 2009 as director of the University of Michigan Museum of Art, where he oversaw the planning, construction, and fundraising for a major new building, recognized as one of the year's 10 best new buildings for 2010 by the American Institute of Architects.
Steward holds his B.A. from the University of Virginia and a doctorate in the History of Art from Trinity College, Oxford University, where he studied with Francis Haskell. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the British Council, the American Ireland Fund, and the Robert Gore Rifkind Foundation. He has been a fellow of the Huntington Library, and received the Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Service from the University of California, Berkeley.