A native of Boise, Idaho, Marianne Eileen Wardle earned her PhD at Duke University, specializing in Greek and Roman art and architecture, medieval sculpture, gender studies, and post-modern architectural theory. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Harvard Extension School, a Masters in Art History from Brigham Young University, and a BA in French and Art History from Utah State University.
She began her career in art museums in 2006 working as a visitor services manager at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke for a year, before moving into work as a special events graduate assistant for four years while she finished her dissertation. In January 2011 she was appointed the Curator of Academic Engagement at the Nasher Museum, and later served as Head of Education and Interpretation. In those roles she mentored over 80 undergraduate interns, created a Concentration in Museum Studies, and taught courses in Islamic art and museum studies. Interested in the integration of the art museum across disciplines, she has worked closely with faculty and students to use the museum as a resource for learning and research. Most notably she led a grant-funded 3-year interdisciplinary research collaboration titled “Art, Vision, and the Brain,” which brought together a team of neuroscientists, ophthalmologists, and engineers comprised of faculty and students at all levels working together to explore human perception. This led to teaching a new course for two summers in Paris through the Neurohumanities in Paris study abroad program at Duke. She has curated exhibitions of Old Master Paintings, Medieval sculpture, Greek and Roman art and culture, modern prints, and contemporary art exploring topics such as race, gender, and migration.
She served as the director of the University of Wyoming Art Museum from 2018-2020, where she led a consortium of faculty and staff across disciplines and throughout the 8 university museums or collections to revise the museum studies curriculum to make it more accessible to students and established a new museum staff position for a full-time curator of academic engagement.
Wardle assumed the position of director/curator at the College of Wooster Art Museum in early 2021 and looks forward to many new collaborations.