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News Room

Leadership Insight From Top Museum Directors Revealed in New Book Published by High Museum of Art & Lucia | Marquand

November 30, 2015

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“Eleven Museums, Eleven Directors: Conversations on Art and Leadership” is available starting Feb. 1, 2016 

ATLANTA, Nov. 30, 2015 – “Eleven Museums, Eleven Directors: Conversations on Art and Leadership” surveys the state and future of museums by uncovering the career trajectories, mentors, inspirations, and goals of some of the field’s most innovative change agents. With more than 60 museum directors expected to retire in the next decade, this compilation of interviews is a timely portrait of how museums are evolving, and the leadership and other related skills needed to sustain and grow today’s most beloved arts institutions. Available on Feb. 1, 2016, “Eleven Museums, Eleven Directors” features High Museum of Art Director Emeritus Michael E. Shapiro in conversation with current and former museum directors spanning the country, whose leadership has made a lasting impression on the field.

“In my nearly two decades as a museum director, I was privileged to receive guidance and support from leaders in the field, who generously shared their insights and expertise,” said Shapiro. “As a new generation of directors starts to take the helm of museums across the country, I wanted to capture and share the individual journeys and advice from some of the leading directors of our time. I also wanted to honor and highlight the mentors who helped each director to find their career path. I hope that the revelations found in these interviews inspire the next crop of leaders to bring our museums to new heights and continue to make them places of inclusivity and discovery.”

From recounting their first encounters with art, to predicting the future trajectory of museums, these notable directors speak to the importance of passion for art, art history, and art museums, serendipitous encounters that altered the course of their careers, as well as the fortitude to creatively address issues such as accessibility and diversity. Collectively driven by an inherent curiosity about art and its role in the community, the featured directors include:

  • Kaywin Feldman, Duncan and Nivin MacMillan Director and President, Minneapolis Institute of Art
  • Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator, The Studio Museum in Harlem, N.Y.
  • Michael Govan, Chief Executive Officer and Wallis Annenberg Director, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Glenn Lowry, Director, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • Annie Philbin, Director, Hammer Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles
  • Timothy Rub, George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer, Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • Gary Tinterow, Director, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell Director & CEO, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Miss.
  • Maxwell L. Anderson, Executive Director, New Cities Foundation, New York, Paris, and Geneva (former director of the Dallas Museum of Art)

“No matter the career path that each museum director has taken, all of us have had pivotal mentors who inspired us and pushed us to realize our own potential,” said Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator, The Studio Museum in Harlem. “I believe it is our shared responsibility to the audiences and communities we serve to empower others to gain the skill set to become the type of forward-thinking leaders that can redefine the 21st-century museum.”

“’Eleven Museums, Eleven Directors’ provides an intimate view into the minds of some of the most prominent museum directors of the early 21st century,” said Elizabeth W. Easton, Director, Center for Curatorial Leadership. “Their instructive tales may well come to be seen as a marker of this cultural moment. As readers, we stand to be enriched by Michael Shapiro’s telling and timely work.”

“Eleven Museums, Eleven Directors: Conversations on Art and Leadership” includes a foreword by Laura L. Lott, president and CEO of the American Alliance of Museums, as well as an introduction and afterword by Shapiro that addresses the common themes of the interviews. The book also features a selected list of mentor biographies compiled by Annemarie Iker. Published by the High Museum of Art and Lucia | Marquand in collaboration with the American Alliance of Museums, “Eleven Museums, Eleven Directors: Conversations on Art and Leadership” will be available in paperback for $14.99 starting Feb. 1, 2016 online at Amazon.commuseumshop.high.org, and at the High Museum of Art Shop.

To celebrate the launch of the book, the High Museum of Art will host a lecture and book signing with Shapiro on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, at 2 p.m. Please visit www.high.orgfor more information.

About Michael E. Shapiro
Michael E. Shapiro was the Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr. Director of the High Museum of Art from March 2000 through July 2015. Shapiro joined the High’s leadership team in 1995, where he oversaw unprecedented growth of the Museum’s collection, developed numerous partnerships with national and international art institutions to bring masterworks to the High, spearheaded the Museum’s 177,000-square-foot expansion by Renzo Piano that opened in November 2005, and increased the reach and impact of the Museum’s education programming and accessibility for school children and diverse audiences.

Prior to his tenure at the High, Shapiro held positions as director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, chief curator at The Saint Louis Art Museum, and as assistant professor in the Department of Art at Duke University, Durham, N.C. Shapiro holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University, a master of arts degree from Williams College, and bachelor of arts degree from Hamilton College. He specializes in 19th-century and 20th-century painting and sculpture.

High Museum of Art
The High is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. With more than 15,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American art; a significant collection of historic and contemporary decorative arts and design; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography, folk and self-taught art, and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists. For more information about the High, visit high.org. 

American Alliance of Museums
The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. The Alliance is proud to represent 30,000 museums, individuals, and corporate partners and is dedicated to ensuring that museums remain a vital part of our communities, connecting people with the greatest achievements of the human experience, past, present and future. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org. 

Lucia | Marquand
Lucia | Marquand develops, designs, and produces books with museums, artists, creative professionals, publishers, and collectors. For more information, visit luciamarquand.com.

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Media contacts:

Marci Tate
Manager of Public Relations
High Museum of Art
Tel: 404-733-4585
E-mail: marci.tate@woodruffcenter.org

Chelsea Beroza
Resnicow + Associates
Tel: 212-671-5160
E-mail: cberoza@resnicow.com