MA, Virginia Commonwealth University
BA, Virginia Commonwealth University

Melissa Parris holds both a BA and MA from Virginia Commonwealth University in Art History, is a graduate of the Jekyll Island Management Institute (JIMI) in museum management training, and is a Certified Institutional Protection Specialist (CIPS) and Manager (CIPM) through The International Foundation for Cultural Property Protection.  She served as Registrar for the Muscarelle Museum of Art in the mid-to-late 1990s before moving to London, England where she worked as a Registrar of Contemporary Arts at Martinspeed, Ltd. Upon her return to the States, she has worked for Art Services International as Registrar and at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation as Associate Registrar for Exhibitions and Loans before re-joining the staff at the Muscarelle where she is now Director of Collections & Exhibitions Management and Curator of the President’s Collection of Art. Managing collections and exhibitions for over twenty-five years, Parris is a long-standing member of numerous professional museum associations for which she has chaired conference sessions, helped organize international symposia, and served as a Cultural Delegate to Cuba. Receiving the Diversity Recognition Award from William & Mary in 2018, her areas of interest in art history include American modernism, history of photography, and contemporary art with an emphasis on Women, African American, self-taught and underrepresented artists.