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Indianapolis Museum of Art names Charles L. Venable as New Director and CEO

The Board of Governors of the Indianapolis Museum of Art announced today that Dr. Charles L. Venable has been appointed The Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO of the Museum. Venable, who is currently the director and CEO of the Speed Art Museum, succeeds Maxwell L. Anderson, who became director of the Dallas Museum of Art in January 2012. Venable will assume his role at the IMA on October 8, 2012.

Venable brings more than 25 years of museum experience to the IMA, having held senior positions at some of the country’s top encyclopedic art museums including the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Dallas Museum of Art. During his five-year tenure as director and CEO of the Speed, Venable fueled tremendous institutional growth and initiated innovative programs that placed a special focus on the permanent collection and fostered deeper engagement with the public. He launched a comprehensive analysis of the Speed’s 14,000-piece permanent collection, acquired a series of significant works of art for the Museum, and expanded the role of adult and student education within the Speed’s overall programming. Venable also spearheaded a master plan to reinvigorate the Museum and enhance the visitor experience, which has led to the reconceptualization of the Museum’s current facility and a planned 200,000-square-foot expansion featuring a new building for modern and contemporary art designed by wHY Architecture of Los Angeles and New York. The “New Speed” is slated to open in late 2015 and will include a new art park and piazza for outdoor sculpture, which will surround the Museum. Under Venable’s leadership the Speed’s annual fund and upper-level membership have tripled and the Museum has raised nearly 95% of its $50 million goal for the expansion, three-times more than any previous cultural capital campaign in Louisville’s history. At the same time that he led these initiatives to transform the Speed,Venable also succeeded in significantly reducing the institution’s annual draw on its endowment to fund the Museum’s operations.

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