School of Design
Associate Professor, Museum Studies
Edward Aiken is director of the graduate program in museum studies and senior curator of the Syracuse University Art Galleries. For 20 years he served as director of the Lowe Art Gallery at Syracuse and was responsible for bringing a wide range of exhibitions to the University and Central New York. He also oversaw the expansion and renovation of the gallery facilities.
As the administrative head of museum studies, Aiken leads one of the largest graduate programs in SU:VPA. He has increased the program budget; implemented curriculum reform; developed concurrent degree options; expanded assistantships and awards; and administered a summer internship program that has helped students gain experience at museums across the United States. He has also developed on-site museum studies summer courses in the United Kingdom, New York City and Washington, D.C. One of the many exhibitions he curated with his graduate students was presented at the Smithsonian in 1993.
Aiken served as assistant dean of SU:VPA and was responsible for such areas as graduate education, the college curriculum, and faculty load. He has served on various University committees, including the University Senate Committee on Academic Affairs, which he chaired, and the University Senate Committee on Budget. In 2001, SU:VPA presented Aiken with the Outstanding Faculty Award, and in 2006 the University Graduate School presented him with the Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award. Aiken has served as a panelist for the New York State Council for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and has also served as an evaluator for the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
Aiken has curated and organized dozens of exhibitions. His writings have been published in anthologies, scholarly and professional periodicals, and exhibition catalogues and brochures. He has organized panels and presented papers at a broad range of scholarly and professional meetings in the United States and abroad. In 2001 he completed a term as president of the board of directors of the Exhibition Alliance in New York State. He currently serves on the board of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums.
The exhibitions and scholarly projects Aiken has developed have received funding from numerous sources, including the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Kress Foundation, the Richard A. Florsheim Art Fund, the Snow Foundation, and Syracuse University. He has also received awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which have enabled him to attend scholarly seminars at the American Academy in Rome and New York University.
Aiken received a Ph.D. in art history from Northwestern University, an M.A. in art history from the Ohio State University, and bachelor’s degrees from the California College of Arts and Crafts and Claremont McKenna College. He has also earned a certificate in non-profit management from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.