Department of Art and Art History People

Dr. Melinda M. Mayer

Assistant Professor

Visual Art Studies / Art Education: Art Museum Education


Melinda Mayer

Melinda M. Mayer is an art educator specializing in art museum education. She received her B.A. in Art History with a second major in Education in 1976 from Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. Mayer completed her M.A. in Art Education with Museum Specialty in 1981 from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Her doctorate in Art Education, awarded in 1999, is from The Pennsylvania State University. Melinda Mayer received a 1995 Getty Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.

In the years between pursuing each degree Mayer worked in the field of art museum education at the Art Museum of South Texas in Corpus Christi, the Meadows Museum in Dallas, and the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. Her career in higher education began in 1995 when Mayer joined the art education faculty of the University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton. While at UNT she served as a co-director of the North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts (NTIEVA). The NTIEVA appointment was in part the outgrowth of her experience as a member of the national cross-site evaluation team for The Getty Education Institute’s grant project in the research and development of Discipline-Based Art Education.

Dr. Mayer’s current research draws upon social, conversational, narrative, and visual culture theory to develop a theory and practice of museum teaching. She authored two chapters, "New Art Museum Education(s)" and "Scintillating Conservations in Art Museums" in From Periphery to Center: Art Museum Education in the 21st Century (2007). Articles by Dr. Mayer have appeared in the journals Trends, Studies in Art Education, Art Education, and The Journal of Aesthetic Education. From 2006 to 2008 Mayer was the Instructional Resources Coordinator for Art Education, the journal of the National Art Education Association.

Dr. Mayer regularly presents at state, regional, and national conferences. She has been the keynote speaker for programs at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Portland Museum of Art in Oregon, the Farnsworth Art Museum and Wyeth Center in Rockland, Maine, the Birmingham Museum of Art, and at the St. Louis Museum of Art.

In 2010 Melinda M. Mayer was the recipient of the National Art Education Association’s Western Region Museum Educator Award and the Texas Art Education Association’s Outstanding Museum Educator Award.