At the start of 2021, MAG issued its first Board Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) survey. The results of how the Board self-identifies appear here. This survey will be issued annually to track MAG’s progress as we strive to better and more fairly reflect the region in which we live and work and that we serve.

To see a list of MAG’s Board of Managers, CLICK HERE

To see the race and ethnicity demographics of the Rochester Metro Area, CLICK HERE


To view the results of each chart below, click on the graphic and then choose the back button to return to this page.

The Memorial Art Gallery was founded on June 26, 1912, and as a gift from Emily Sibley Watson to the University of Rochester (UR) to be maintained for the “benefit of the University and of the citizens of the City of Rochester.” The entire management and administration of MAG were committed to a Board of Managers, originally comprising 21 people, nine of whom were women, a notable fact at a time when art museum boards and trustees rarely included women. All members were white and of European descent. For a detailed history of MAG CLICK HERE

The composition of the MAG Board has changed and grown over the years. Today, the Board may include from 25 to 40 volunteer members, all elected to their positions for a three-year term by the Board itself and with the input of MAG’s Director, who is an ex officio member of the Board. Other ex officio members are representatives of the UR community, including the Chair of the UR Board of Trustees, President of UR, Provost of UR or another senior-level academic UR officer of the Provost’s choosing, Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance of UR (MAG’s Treasurer), Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences of UR, Chair of the Department of Art and Art History of UR, and the heads of MAG’s Councils, including the Gallery Council and Docents. All of these individuals are members of MAG’s Board by virtue of their appointments and for so long as they hold such offices.

According to MAG’s bylaws, “the Board shall have the custody, control, and direction of the Gallery, its pictures, works of art, collections and other contents…and it may acquire, by the use of monies which may be at its disposal or by the acceptance of gifts or otherwise, such pictures, works of art and collections as it may deem proper.” Furthermore, “the Board shall assume the responsibility of raising and providing the monies necessary for the current expenses of the Gallery, the carrying on of its work and the acquisitions of additions to its collections, and shall be vested with the authority necessary to that end.” Finally, “the Board shall have the sole right to determine the uses to which the Gallery and its collections shall be put and the right of access and use by the public.” [All quotations here are selected from MAG’s bylaws, updated and revised June 2018.]


In September 2014 (fiscal year 2015), the elected members of the Board of Managers comprised 36 people. Eighteen of these elected Managers were women.

Diversifying MAG’s Board has indeed been a priority for at least the last six years. As of July 1, 2020 (fiscal year 2021), the elected Board had grown to 37 members, including 24 women and six people of color. MAG’s current Board president, Dr. Marilynn Patterson Grant, is African American.

An example of a project that was instrumental in helping to diversify MAG’s volunteer leadership was Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair, an exhibition organized by the Chicago History Museum. Inspiring Beauty was greatly supported by partnerships with local African American organizations, specifically the Rochester chapter of The Links, Inc., and the Theta Alpha Zeta chapter in Rochester of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Members of these organizations, including MAG’s current Board president, first engaged with MAG on the occasion of this exhibition, generously helping to organize events, programs, and to support and be an ambassador for the overall project. MAG and the community it serves continue to benefit and grow from the relationships established around Inspiring Beauty and other programmatic efforts.