In 1986, Dr. John J. McDonough, a prominent collector of American Art, and a dedicated member of the community, offered Youngstown State University the opportunity to build their own museum. The McDonough Museum of Art, a division of the College of Fine and Performing Arts opened its doors to the public in 1991. For thirteen years the museum has grown to become a vital center for contemporary art, education and community serving both the University and the region. Each year the Museum presents a diverse and critical survey of contemporary art in all media through exhibitions of work by national and international artists as well as Department of Art faculty and students.
It is the function of the John J McDonough Museum of Art as a university art museum to regularly shift its vantage point as that of the community's is altered in a time of transition. We believe that the Museum has a vital role to play in Youngstown's 2010 initiative, a locally led effort to call into question the cities' inherited framework of loss and misdirection. In this enterprise, Youngstown joined global innovative revitalization coalitions busy creating new paradigms of survival, resilience, and adaptability for cities that have endured economic devastation. As city officials and members of the planning committee along with YSU move toward their goals we are planning exhibitions like Cinder and next year's project with Vito Acconci and his urban design studio that offer opportunities for community members to expand their views on displacement, land loss, poverty, and the impact of social unrest on cultural identity from the U.S. to Central America and the Middle East.
Mission Statement :
The mission of the McDonough Museum of Art reinforces the mission of the College of Fine and Performing Arts and Youngstown State University in recognizing the need to support both cultural values and academic excellence. As a unique center for public engagement, the McDonough Museum of Art translates the University's greater goals of teaching, research and service into collaboration, education and community.
Through the process of collaboration we seek to encourage flexible, research-based relationships with artists, scholars, university students and members of the community. As a center for education we seek to promote learning through communication and shared experience within an expanding community outreach that recognizes the value of visual literacy and the development of intelligent, critical and creative thinking skills among our K-12 audiences.
Located in the Mahoning Valley and within the city of Youngstown we are acutely aware that many members of this community are at risk and underserved in multiple capacities. It is the moral mission and ethical responsibility of this institution to embrace and develop ongoing relevant strategies for understanding and engaging all of our diverse audiences. We believe community means a commitment to shared responsibility for the definition of common goals, for Youngstown, the Mahonig Valley, the State of Ohio, the United States and beyond.
It is ultimately our mission as a university museum dedicated to the display and commission of contemporary art to function as a catalyst for new knowledge, to play a central role in the exploration of the aesthetic dimension of human intelligence, and to substantially affect the way the arts contribute to education and public life.
In pursuit of its mission, the McDonough Museum of Art subscribes to the following Goals:
To establish the fundamental importance and role of art, design, art history, art education and museum studies within the university and beyond, and to position the arts and related disciplines as conduits for cross-disciplinary collaboration and exchange.
The Museum seeks to offer the University and the Region a larger range of choices for the application of talent and intelligence through teaching visual literacy. Visual education offers broadened pedagogical choices and more fully equips the body politic for making relevant contributions to the social, political, cultural, technological, and commercial needs of the State. The Museum seeks to integrate the experience and understanding of art and design with all cultural and social segments, including commerce and industry.
To continuously examine the roles of artists, designers, art historians, art educators, and Museum Professionals in support of a vital and tolerant society.
The Museum seeks to offer a larger range of choices for the application of talent and intelligence. By questioning and challenging the role of artists, designers, and Museum professionals, the Museum, together with the College of Fine and Performing Arts will join others leading the way in refocusing the educational paradigm for a new century.
To promote and honor the fundamental worth of all peoples and cultures.
The Museum works toward creating a world in which all peoples and cultures are given voice as valid participants in an emerging globally interdependent society. The Museum values all cultures, their customs, and lore, and gives respect to differing beliefs. The Museum recognizes the need for equity among generations, genders and ethnic groups in accessing services and opportunities for sharing constructive and productive responsibility in the transfer of knowledge and skill.
To promote respect for the environment and the human ecology.
The Museum understands its responsibility in preparing students for sustainable futures. Sustainable futures involve informed decision making which maintains a balance among all aspects of the natural and man-made world. This requires public participation and policy making. The Museum equips students to become involved leaders in this crucial public dialogue. Economic, technological, and political choices inevitably involve moral responsibility.