May 23, 2007
Contact: Anne-Marie Wagener (612) 870-3280; Lynette Nyman (612) 870-3173
MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ARTS DIRECTOR IS NAMED TO HEAD THE MORGAN LIBRARY & MUSEUM
Minneapolis, MN – The Board of Trustees of the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) announced today that William M. Griswold, director and president of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, will become the director of The Morgan Library & Museum in New York early next year. Dr. Griswold previously served at the Morgan from 1995 to 2001 as Charles W. Engelhard Curator and head of the Department of Drawings and Prints. He has been with the MIA since October 2005, taking the museum through its recent expansion. In order to ensure a smooth transition, Dr. Griswold will remain at the MIA through January 31, 2008, and assume his new post on March 4, 2008.
“I know this was not an easy decision for Bill to make,” said Alfred Harrison, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, in making this announcement. “However the MIA has benefited enormously from his energetic leadership over the last two years, both in helping us meet our $100 million capital campaign goal and in providing a vision of excellence throughout the museum. We regret his departure but we can understand the unique match of his expertise with the Morgan and wish him every success.”
Dr. Griswold said, “The Minneapolis Institute of Art is an extraordinary institution, and it has been a privilege to be a part of the Twin Cities’ exceptionally vibrant cultural community. I feel honored to have had the chance to work with such a committed and accomplished staff, such a dedicated board, and such generous donors. But the opportunity to return to the Morgan at this important moment in its history is tremendously exciting and I look forward to making its remarkable collections even more accessible to an even larger audience.”
Located on Madison Avenue in New York, the Morgan houses one of the world’s greatest collections of artistic, literary, musical, and historical works. Included in its holdings are drawings by Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Cézanne; medieval and Renaissance manuscripts; three Gutenberg Bibles; original scores by Mozart and Beethoven; literary manuscripts by Dickens and Twain; and five-thousand-year-old Near Eastern carvings. The Morgan recently reopened after the largest expansion in its history, with a $106 million building project designed by architect Renzo Piano.
As director and president of the MIA, Dr. Griswold oversaw the completion, installation, and opening of a 113,000-square-foot expansion. He launched the public phase of a $100 million capital campaign to support the expansion and to endow acquisition funds. During his tenure, the museum successfully achieved this goal. Dr. Griswold established priorities for collection management and mediation, and reorganized the museum’s curatorial division to accomplish collection and exhibition plans. He also oversaw important acquisitions for the permanent collection that include an eighteenth-century masterpiece by French court painter Alexander Roslin, a rare bronze memorial head from the kingdom of Benin, and the MIA’s first historic automobile, a 1946 Czech Tatra.
The MIA’s board of trustees will assign a committee to lead the search to help ensure a seamless transition between Griswold’s departure and the arrival of a new director.
About the Minneapolis Institute of Art
The Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA), home to one of the finest encyclopedic art collections in the country, houses nearly 100,000 works of art representing more than 5,000 years of world history. Internationally renowned for its extensive collection of Chinese and Japanese art, other highlights of the permanent collection include European masterworks by Rembrandt, Poussin, and van Gogh; modern and contemporary paintings and sculpture by Picasso, Matisse, Mondrian, Stella, and Close; as well as internationally significant collections of decorative arts, Modernist design, photographs, prints and drawings, and Asian, African, and Native American art. General admission is always free. Some special exhibitions have a nominal admission fee. Museum hours: Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Closed Monday. For more information, call (612) 870-3131 or visit www.artsmia.org.