San Diego Museum of Art Names New Director

The Board of Trustees of The San Diego Museum of Art has named Roxana Velásquez Martínez del Campo as the new executive director of the Museum. The internationally celebrated director will take the lead, the first female ever appointed to this role, in early fall.

American born and raised in Mexico, Velásquez has represented professional, civic, and cultural endeavors at three major national museums in Mexico City. She has served as the director of Museo Nacional de San Carlos, Museo Nacional de Arte (Munal), and most recently, Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes – elevating each institution to international recognition.

“Roxana brings to the Museum an impeccable ability to manage all facets of a major arts institution, a strong network within the global art community, and a cross-border cultural perspective,” said Dr. Ken Widder, President of the Board of Trustees of The San Diego Museum of Art. “We received a tremendous amount of interest in this position – both domestically and internationally – and we believe Roxana will be a true asset to The San Diego Museum of Art and the San Diego community.”

With more than a decade of leadership experience within a cultural institution, Velásquez will help raise the profile of The San Diego Museum of Art on a national and international level while furthering the Museum’s mission to collect, preserve, display, and interpret the finest works of art.

“The Museum’s co-interim directors – Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs, Dr. Julia Marciari-Alexander; Deputy Director of Operations and Finance, Julianne Markow; Deputy Director of External Affairs, Katy McDonald – have done a phenomenal job in leading the institution. A solid foundation has been laid for Roxana to build upon as she charts a course for the exciting future of the Museum,” added Widder.

Velásquez was selected by The San Diego Museum of Art’s search committee under the leadership of the committee’s chair, Boardmember Chuck Hellerich. Principals Sarah James and Becky Klein of the New York-based executive search firm Phillips Oppenheim assisted the international search process.

“I am very honored to be the executive director of The San Diego Museum of Art, an exemplary institution due to its solid tradition, enthusiastic board of directors, the quality of its collection, and high professionalism of its staff,” said Velásquez. “One of my main objectives will be to communicate these strengths at the regional, national, and international level and to create synergies among other museums and cultural institutions from around the world. I have always believed in the power of art and its ability to create bonds, avoid boundaries, and bring fraternity among individuals from the most distant and diverse societies.”

Among career highlights, Velásquez has helped organize highly successful international exhibitions like Rubens and his Century, Victorian Era, Goya, Frida Kahlo Centennial, and Illusions of the Middle East from Delacroix to Moreau – all of which brought record exhibition attendance ranging from 350,000 to half a million in a two to four month timeframe.

Velásquez is a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors, Board of Trustees; International Council of Museums; and Asociación Mexicana de Profesionales de Museos. She has been distinguished by the King of Spain with the Cross of Isabel la Católica for outstanding cultural projects of Spanish art organized in Mexico. In addition, Velásquez is the recipient of numerous awards including “best art publication” for Guía del Museo Nacional de San Carlos from the Mexican government, and “best exhibition” for Masterworks from the San Carlos Museum from the Georgia Association of Museums.

She succeeds Dr. Derrick R. Cartwright who left the Museum’s top staff position mid-September 2009.

About The San Diego Museum of Art

The San Diego Museum of Art provides a rich and diverse cultural experience for 350,000 visitors annually. Located in the heart of beautiful Balboa Park, the Museum’s nationally renowned collections include Spanish and Italian old masters, South Asian paintings, and 19th and 20th century American paintings and sculptures. In addition, the Museum regularly features major exhibitions of art from around the world, as well as an extensive year-round schedule of supporting cultural and educational programs for children and adults, as well as a research library. At The San Diego Museum of Art, exhibition texts are always in English and Spanish.

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