Because the health and safety of the Milwaukee community is our highest priority, the Museum is temporarily closed. Learn more.

Museum Director Marcelle Giving a Press Preview

Milwaukee Art Museum Announces Leadership Change

Posted on February 19th, 2007

Milwaukee, WI, May 14, 2007— The Milwaukee Art Museum announced today that David Gordon would be retiring as director and CEO by March 2008.

The notice of David Gordon’s departure was accompanied by a leadership transition plan. Gordon will continue as director through a changeover process that will begin with the appointment of a search committee, headed by President-elect Kent Velde, to conduct an international search for Gordon’s successor.

These announcements were made at today’s Board and Annual meetings. In addition to electing Velde as incoming president, the Board of Directors of the Milwaukee Art Museum also voted in the following officers: Sheldon Lubar and Betty Quadracci for further terms as chairman and secretary, respectively, and Danny Cunningham, treasurer.

David Gordon took up his post at the Museum in October 2002. He had served as secretary (director) of the Royal Academy of Arts in London for six years, and as chief executive of The Economist newspaper before that.

Sheldon Lubar, Museum Board chairman, said: “David has established financial transparency and management credibility for the Museum and was an effective partner in the campaign to raise the $30 million to complete the building campaign. He has built strong relationships with Museum benefactors.”

Lubar continued: “David Gordon has raised the Museum’s profile at home and abroad with exhibitions both exciting and varied, an enhanced public program and increased educational activities.”

David Gordon expressed extreme pride in what has been achieved during his five years at the Museum: “We have generated extraordinary national and international acclaim for our exhibitions, which have raised the profile both of the Museum and of Milwaukee. And we continue to build the world-class Collection with important acquisitions. An outstanding management team, highly talented curators and a dedicated staff keep the Museum vibrant and a sought-after destination. In fact, the Museum has never offered a greater number of events and lectures, and record numbers of schoolchildren visit and take part in special programs each year.”

Gordon said: “We have an enhanced position within the international art community.”
Gordon commented on the financial position of the Museum: “Under the leadership of Sheldon Lubar, the final $30 million debt arising from the Calatrava-designed Quadracci Pavilion has been paid or pledged. Our Annual Campaign continues to raise record sums of money, and the Museum operates within a balanced budget. With a robust Strategic Plan in place, the institution is very well positioned for the future.

Gordon concluded: “I believe this is the right time for new leadership, which can build on strong foundations and continue the Museum’s strategies, of which the central part is building its endowment.”

“Maggi and I have been very happy in Milwaukee and plan to continue to make our home here. I intend to start a new career as a museum and arts consultant, writer and lecturer-with more free time to travel sunwards in the winter!”