New Art Museum leader announced

June 29, 2009 12:59:55 PM PDT
The Philadelphia Museum of Art announced Monday that it has chosen the head of the Cleveland Museum of Art as its new leader. After a yearlong international search, museum trustees unanimously selected Timothy Rub to succeed the late Anne d'Harnoncourt.

When he takes over in September, Rub will be the 13th director of the museum, which was founded more than 125 years ago and currently houses more 225,000 works of art.

In a statement, Philadelphia Museum of Art board chairman H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest praised Rub's "scholarship, connoisseurship and excellent management and fundraising skills."

"He comes with strong expertise in planning at a time when the museum is preparing to move forward with the next phase of its renovation and growth," Lenfest said.

Museum trustees Martha Hamilton Morris and Keith L. Sachs, who led the search for d'Harnoncourt's replacement, called Rub the ideal candidate to lead the museum.

Rub, 57, has been the Cleveland Museum of Art's chief executive officer for three years. During that time the museum has started a major expansion, with one new wing opening this month, and returned 14 ancient works to Italy that had previously been stolen, looted or otherwise illegally exported.

"I am eager to build on the museum's many strengths as we embark upon a new and very significant chapter in the history of this institution," Rub said in a statement.

Over the weekend the Cleveland Museum of Art marked the opening of its first new galleries since a 1971 expansion. The new galleries are part of an eight-year, $335 million expansion and renovation. Rub called it a great privilege to work there.

"It is rightfully considered one of America's finest museums with a great collection, strong financial resources, a commitment to excellence and loyal support from the community it was founded to serve," Rub said.

Alfred M. Rankin, Jr., president of the Cleveland museum's trustee board, said a search for a new director would begin soon.

"I am confident that our superb institution will attract many outstanding candidates for the position and that we will find a talented individual who is both a strong leader and a gifted manager to serve as Timothy's successor," Rankin said.

D'Harnoncourt, an internationally recognized scholar and beloved supporter of the Philadelphia art scene, died unexpectedly last year after more than four decades at Philadelphia's world-renowned museum. She had been the museum's director since 1982.

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