Miami Art Museum Names John Wetenhall Interim Director

The Board of Trustees of Miami Art Museum announced the appointment of John Wetenhall as the museum’s interim director while it undertakes a search for the next director of the institution. Wetenhall will officially start on January 4, 2010, and will oversee the day-to-day operations of the museum and planning for its new home in Museum Park.

Wetenhall previously served for eight years as executive director of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, FL where he was responsible for all aspects of operations, and saw the institution through a period of significant growth and expansion including the addition of four new buildings. Prior to that, Wetenhall served as director of the Cheekwood Museum of Art in Nashville, where he participated in a capital improvement project that included the renovation of the museum, establishment of a new contemporary art and education center, and creation of a 1.5-mile woodland sculpture trail. He was a Smithsonian Institution Fellow and has taught at Stanford, Santa Clara University, the University of Minnesota and Florida State University. Wetenhall earned his B.A. (cum laude) in English Literature at Dartmouth College, M.A. in the History of Art at Williams College, M.A. and Ph.D. at Stanford University, and his M.B.A. at Vanderbilt University. He belongs to the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and serves on the Boards of the American Association of Museums (AAM) and the U.S. National Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM-US).

“We are very fortunate to have John’s leadership while the search committee works to identify the right long-term leader for the Miami Art Museum,” said Aaron Podhurst, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “John’s depth of experience will be an invaluable asset as we continue to move forward with building our institution. The board is committed to identifying the right leadership to realize the powerful vision set for Miami Art Museum’s future, and John will play a key role in the Museum’s institutional transformation.”

Miami Art Museum trustee Rose Ellen Greene has been appointed to lead the search committee for a permanent director. The new director will oversee the construction phase of Miami Art Museum’s new facility and continue to build the permanent collection and spearhead the fundraising program. Terence Riley, who stepped down as Miami Art Museum’s director in November upon completion of the design and development phase of the building project, continues to oversee development of Miami Art Museum’s new home at Museum Park as project consultant.

Herzog & de Meuron’s design for new Miami Art Museum at Museum Park generated critical acclaim when it was unveiled on October 21, 2009. Miami Art Museum is scheduled to break ground for its new, expanded facility on Biscayne Bay in 2010. In October 2009, Miami Art Museum premiered the most comprehensive survey of work by Argentine artist Guillermo Kuitca ever presented in North America. Miami Art Museum is South Florida’s largest provider of arts education outside of the Miami Dade Public Schools.

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