Karol A. Lawson, Ph.D.
Director of the Art Collection and Galleries, and the Sweet Briar Museum
Visiting Assistant Professor of Arts Management, Acting Director of the Arts Management Program (2015-2016)
Karol Lawson earned a B.A. in art history and anthropology from Sweet Briar College and holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in art history from the University of Virginia. She has been an art museum curator and administrator for 25 years. In addition to advanced academic training in 18th and 19th-century American art, she has experience in anthropological museums and archaeological field work and has dealt with collections covered by the Native American
Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. Her career began at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American Art. Lawson subsequently served as chief curator and director of collections at The Columbus Museum in Columbus, Georgia, and as director of The Maier Museum of Art at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia. She is the recipient of individual scholarly grants from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Smithsonian
Institution, the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University, and the Huntington Library and Art Collections, and has been instrumental in securing grants for collections care and museum outreach from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and from regional and national foundations. She has been a peer reviewer for the American Association of Museums accreditation and museum assessment programs since 1995 and served as chair of the Museum Committee of the College Art Association 2011-13. She has served as a peer reviewer for the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has over 15 years cumulative experience teaching art history and museum studies at the undergraduate level and also publishes and speaks at professional conferences at the national level on legal and ethical issues with regard to the management of museum collections.
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Arts Management
Melora is an actress, director, producer, and audio book narrator. Her credits include The Shakespeare Theatre D.C., The Folger Theatre, Signature Theatre, Roundhouse Theatre, The Court Theatre, The Star Plaza Theatre, and many other regional theatres and colleges. She has appeared in numerous TV shows, films and commercials, and has narrated 39 audio books. Locally she has directed at Lynchburg College, Sweet Briar College and she also taught in the Randolph College Theatre Department from 2009-2011 before becoming the Artistic Director of Studio Roanoke from 2011-2013, a not for profit theatre dedicated to producing only new works. She then became the Artistic Director of Renaissance Theatre in Lynchburg, VA. She developed the now annual production of 1776 in concert at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest and continues to fundraise, produce, and direct shows in conjunction with other non-profit organizations. She has her MFA from the Academy for Classical Acting at the Shakespeare Theatre D.C. through George Washington University, and BA from Columbia College, Chicago.