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Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley names David Mickenberg as new President & CEO

David Mickenberg has been appointed the Priscilla Payne Hurd President and CEO of the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley, Dolores Laputka, Chair of the Board of Trustees, announced today. His appointment was unanimously approved at a special October meeting of the Board of Trustees. Mr. Mickenberg was until recently CEO of the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, VA, and previously was director of the prominent university art museums at Wellesley College, MA, and Northwestern University, IL.

Mr. Mickenberg, a Brooklyn, NY, native, was chosen after an international search. He will relocate to the Lehigh Valley with his wife, Judy, and join the Museum on November 18, 2013.

Mr. Mickenberg has been a museum director for over 30 years. After launching his career at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, he became director of the Oklahoma Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, in 1981. He took the reins of the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, in 1986. Over his 14 years at the Block, he quadrupled the museum’s space, significantly built the museum’s collections, began a major publications program, organized and circulated exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad, and created a large-scale outdoor sculpture garden. While there he co-curated the exhibition and edited the associated book The Last Expression: Art and Auschwitz. His fundraising brought in millions in capital and endowment gifts.

In 2001, he became director of the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College and there completed a fundraising campaign, raising $12.5 million, 160% over goal; and he oversaw major repairs and renovations to the Rafael Moneo–designed facility. He created a major space for new media art, instituted an international fellowship and internship program for students, made major acquisitions for the collections, and oversaw the thematic reinstallation of the collections. From 2009 to 2012, Mr. Mickenberg directed the Taubman Museum of Art, arriving just after the opening of the $67 million state-of-the-art facility, for which he implemented unique, interdisciplinary, community-based programming often rooted in regional traditions and diversity that led to enhanced community engagement, increased attendance, and broadened support. He steered the museum through the worst of the recession and made it one of the most well attended regional museums in the southeast.

Mr. Mickenberg has lectured nationally and abroad on art history and museum leadership, including at the prestigious Getty Leadership Institute, of which he is a 2005 graduate and was faculty for many years. He was an adjunct faculty member at the Ecole du Louvre as well. He has served on review panels for regional and national granting agencies, including the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

He completed courses toward a doctorate in French medieval architecture at Indiana University, Indianapolis, and holds an M.A. in Art History from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he also specialized in French medieval architecture. He has a B.A. with honors in Art History from Colgate University, Hamilton, NY. He has organized numerous exhibitions, primarily on the history of American prints and contemporary art, and has published widely on topics ranging from museum administration to non-profit fine art presses in America.3