Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Max Anderson Leaves the Dallas Museum of Art Fall 2015

Max Anderson has left the Dallas Museum. I have compiled articles from various sources that have suggested that this was not a friendly departure. I will leave that judgment for you. Regardless of who did what to whom the course ahead is clear. The Dallas Museum no longer needs a place holder  who is merely using the job as a stepping stone. We need a real long term commitment to the Dallas community and the museum to meet future challenges that are unique to the times we live. The DMA Board can judge whether Anderson was good or bad for Dallas. Regardless of the introspection to follow we must move forward. Many of us feel that they already have their new director, but we shall see what happens.

 1. DALLAS D Magazine - Multiple sources say this morning that Maxwell Anderson is stepping down as director of the Dallas Museum of Art. On the museum chief’s personal website, his CV has been updated to show that he is the Director of Grant Programs of the New Cities Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is said to “shape a better urban future for all by fostering urban innovation and entrepreneurship.” Anderson sits on the board of the New Cities Foundation and brought the organization to Dallas for a summit in 2014. Also on his online CV, Anderson’s directorship of the DMA is listed under “previous positions.” Anderson’s house on Wilderness Court in Far North Dallas is listed for sale on Trulia, and sources say that an emergency board meeting has been called today. I have a call into the DMA to confirm and am waiting for their response.
If Anderson has resigned, it comes amid a long string of prominent resignations at the museum. Over the past two years, there has been turnover of senior officials in virtually every department of the museum. Critics have also questioned Anderson’s priorities as director of the DMA, and rumors about low museum morale, crimped curatorial budgets, and turmoil in the development department have swirled around the museum for years. In a phone call interview I had with Anderson two weeks ago, the director defended his record, citing a series of balanced budgets, endowment growth, increased giving related to his new initiatives, and expanded museum attendance thanks to the free admission policy he championed. He admitted that there had been some transition in the development department, but attributed it to hires with little experience raising funds for museums. The resignation comes at the same time the museum has opened an exhibition of Islamic art taken from the Keir Collection, a renowned collection that Anderson helped negotiate a long-term loan to the DMA. A planned renovation of the front end of the museum is underway thanks to a $3 million grant from the John Eagle family. A ceremonial groundbreaking of the renovation scheduled for last week was postponed at the last minute.

"The New Cities Foundation is pleased to welcome Maxwell Anderson as Director of Grant Programs," according to the group's statement. "A veteran art museum curator and director, most recently of the Dallas Museum of Art, Max will help develop ways of supporting NCF’S focus on urban innovation, with a particular emphasis on how digital platforms can improve the lives of city dwellers internationally. He will also assist the Foundation’s affiliate GCDN (the Global Cultural Districts Network) along with other endeavors to improve the quality of urban life through strategic investments, advocacy, and foundation alliances. A former NCF trustee, he has a Ph.D. in art history from Harvard University and extensive experience in international affairs within the cultural sector, along with multiple achievements in harnessing digital media for community engagement, corporate transparency, and mission-focused communications." D Magazine has more details: If Anderson has resigned, it comes amid a long string of prominent resignations at the museum. Over the past two years, there has been turnover of senior officials in virtually every department of the museum. Critics have also questioned Anderson’s priorities as director of the DMA, and rumors about low museum morale, crimped curatorial budgets, and turmoil in the development department have swirled around the museum for years. Anderson career highlights Here's an earlier press release from the DMA announcing Anderson's appointment as director, effective January 2012.
1. DALLAS Art News - Maxwell Anderson Leaves Dallas Museum of Art for New Cities Foundation
By M.H. Miller Posted 09/28/15 12:59 pm
"Maxwell Anderson, the director of the Dallas Museum of Art, has resigned his post to take a job as the director of grant programs at the New Cities Foundation in New York City. Anderson has been at the DMA for about four years. During Anderson’s tenure, attendance at the museum increased to more than 700,000 people annually and $40 million was raised for the museum’s endowment, according to a statement from Melissa Fetter, the chairman of the DMA’s board of trustees. Walter Elcock, president of the board, will take over as interim director. The New Cities Foundation was founded in 2010 as a nonprofit to promote a “vision…of a world where cities drive economic, social and environmental progress.” In a statement, Anderson described the organization as “among the most innovative urban-focused enterprises in the world.” Anderson hosted a New Cities Summit—one of the foundation’s programs—in Dallas in 2014, along with the city’s mayor, Mike Rawlings."

2. DALLAS Sudden Departure: Max Anderson Precipitously Leaves Dallas Museum Directorship
September 28, 2015 by CultureGrrl
"This is not how amicable resignations usually happen: The Dallas Museum of Art today announced that its director of less than four years, Maxwell Anderson, “has stepped down [emphasis added] as director of the DMA to take on the position of director of grant programs at the [Paris-based] New Cities Foundation in New York.” In other words, he has already left, with no director’s search, let alone a named successor, in place. The DMA is only now forming its search committee, with Walter Elcock, its board president, serving as its interim director, and board vice president Catherine Rose serving as interim president. Anderson “will continue to provide consulting services to the Museum during the transition,” according to the DMA’s above-linked announcement. Max made his own cryptic announcement on Twitter:
Onto the next chapter:
Maxwell L. Anderson (@MaxAndersonUSA) September 28, 2015
In the announcement, the DMA did describe in detail Anderson’s “impressive legacy on which we will continue to build. He will be greatly missed.” His new gig will return him to his native New York, which could be part of its attraction to him. “See you on the Hudson,” was his email’s cheery sign-off to me. The last time that Max, a life-long museum professional, took a job that was not at a museum came when he precipitously left his directorship at the Whitney Museum (1998- 2003), after differences with its board, to become a principal at AEA Consulting, an arts, culture, and entertainment advisory firm (2004-06). (He omitted that part of his career from the bio on his own website.) The Whitney Museum’s new handbook is notable for almost completely writing Max out of the museum’s history (inappropriately, in my view). Before directing the DMA, Anderson had a five and a half-year stint as director of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. His pre-Whitney tenure at the Art Gallery of Ontario was similarly brief—1995-1998. Max wrote me this today, in response to my emailed queries about whether differences with the board or other disagreements had led to his sudden departure:

I am not aware of disagreements: Everything on my watch had a board task force’s approval, and we just adopted a new budget—our fifth balanced budget in a row. Once I let board leadership know about the New Cities offer last week, it was decided to move ahead with an announcement today (not on a sleepy Friday!). I think that this announcement would have woken all of us up, even on a dormant Sunday! Although he wrote that he was “not aware of disagreements,” Anderson is presumably aware of of this morning’s D Magazine report by Peter Simek about senior staff departures and “rumors about low museum morale, crimped curatorial budgets, and turmoil in the development department [that] have swirled around the museum for years.” I suspect we’ll soon hear more about today’s sudden development from the Texas scribe tribe (and even, perhaps, from Max).
The Dallas Morning News ended Robert Wilonsky‘s more-to-come report on the departure by embedding a video that didn’t count among Max’s finest accomplishments—his starring  role in the Bruno Mars part (complete with hair curlers) in an “Uptown Funk” music-video spoof."

3. DALLAS  Michael Granberry The Dallas Morning News
Dallas Museum of Art director leaves for NYC
Maxwell Anderson moderated a panel during the New Cities Foundation summit that he helped bring to Dallas last year. He is taking an executive position with the group. Michael Granberry Follow @mgranberry
Arts and Features
Published: 28 September 2015 11:13 PM
Updated: 28 September 2015 11:19 PM
Maxwell Anderson, director of the Dallas Museum of Art since 2012, made public Monday what he told the board of directors last week: He is resigning, effective immediately, to take an executive position with the New Cities Foundation in New York City. Championed as bold, risk-taking and innovative when he took the job, Anderson, 59, came to Dallas from the Indianapolis Museum of Art, where he had served as director since 2006. From 1998 to 2003, he headed the renowned Whitney Museum of American Art in New York but left after differences with the board. “In the last year and a half,” Anderson said Monday, “I have watched most of my colleagues retiring as directors.” As a long-time member of the Association of Art Museum Directors, Anderson said: “I am one of the few left standing from the era in which I began. Rather than slow rolling toward retirement, I began looking for other possible directions.” The average tenure for a museum director is, he said, around four years, “so, I was conscious from the beginning that there’s an arc of time that you have to build a constituency and set a vision and set about realizing it. And much of what we looked to do has been accomplished. That said, to look at a trajectory of another three to five years requires a fresh pair of eyes and fresh thinking about the museum’s needs.” Anderson and Mayor Mike Rawlings helped bring to Dallas in 2014 the annual international summit of the New Cities Foundation, which
Anderson called “a remarkable organization that approached me about a position in senior leadership to help them think about their future. For a lot of reasons, it made sense to me.”Retired banking executive Walter Elcock, president of the DMA’s board, will serve as the museum’s interim director, and board vice president Catherine Rose will be interim president. Anderson will consult during the transition. A search committee is being formed to find his successor. There were hints on Monday that Anderson may have differed with the DMA board, just as he did with the Whitney’s years ago. But no one was willing to offer specifics.
Rose praised Anderson’s four-year tenure, saying, “He’s been an incredible asset to the Dallas Museum of Art, in terms of charting a bold vision for our museum both here and on the global stage. But I don’t think any of us believe he would have stayed here forever.”
Asked if Anderson had been forced out by the board, Rose said, “As the press release says, he has accepted a new position at the New Cities Foundation in New York.”
But when asked if the board was disappointed that Anderson resigned, Rose said, “As you would imagine with a board of trustees numbering over 60 members, I think I have to think about that, if I could, and respond to you later on that.” Later, she added via email: “It’s hard for me to speculate about individual responses.” The New York Times once described Anderson’s tenure at the Whitney as tumultuous. During his time there, trustees ended up saying no to a $200 million expansion designed by famed Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, who also was involved with the Wyly Theatre in Dallas. Anderson had championed Koolhaas’ design. Anderson and the Whitney board later differed over exhibitions. “Although they were record-breaking in attendance and enjoyed critical success, they were not by and large exhibitions of artists who were favored by the board,” Anderson said in 2012. “I didn’t feel it was my assignment to present artists who were already renowned and burnished. I thought that was the Museum of Modern Art’s job. Or the Guggenheim’s,” referring to New York’s other great museums. Melissa Fetter, DMA board chairman, praised Anderson in a statement, calling him “a visionary and an innovator” while noting that he increased and diversified attendance, which has risen to more than 700,000 annually. He also raised, she said, “over $40 million for the museum's endowment and special projects. Max leaves the DMA with an impressive legacy on which we will continue to build. He will be greatly missed.” Anderson waxed emotional in discussing his announcement to the staff, saying, “You’re looking out at all these faces of people who have been there for 30 years or who you have helped hire, and it’s tough, because the whole place has this energy, from the front door when you walk in. ... Those uniforms we had are gone, people are warm and welcoming. Everybody in that room has gone through those changes we have made.”
Anderson and his wife, Jacqueline, an actress who became a fixture on the Dallas social scene, will sell their home here and with their fourth-grade daughter move to New York City, where their son is a student at New York University.

4. DALLAS "The thrilling, willing Jacqueline Anderson is the Dallas Museum of Art's most exciting acquisition yet. by Christopher Wynn Dallas Morning News
Published: 28 March 2012 06:28 PM
Updated: 09 April 2012 02:04 PM
Jacqueline Buckingham Anderson is having a serious wardrobe malfunction. The front zipper of her airtight body suit — of creamy, ivory leather — has split open, exposing a slit of skin deep enough down her torso that she would be ill-advised to move. Or breathe. The catsuit is vintage, hence the precarious zipper. She is standing in a photo studio at a renovated Dallas industrial warehouse,
surrounded by our crew. The awkwardness is palpable. “Oh! I don’t think this is going to make it,” Anderson says, hands clutched in front of her yoga-toned abs, trying to hold the suit together. She attempts to shuffle off-camera, atop her towering platform pumps. Of pink suede. The photographer, Maxine Helfman, decides to at least grab some shots, fast. She’ll crop in later. Jacqueline, mother of two and wife of the director of one of the most prestigious art museums in America, shakes out her sprayed-and-teased locks and pounds Helfman’s lens with her best come-hither gaze. Flash! Flash! The gasps of excitement in the room confirm: Anderson nailed it. Again. FYI, Dallas and the world: Jacqueline Anderson always hits her mark..."

5.DALLAS KERA Maxwell Anderson, who’s been director of the Dallas Museum of Art since 2012, is leaving to join the New Cities Foundation.
The Dallas Museum of Art announced the news in a press release late Monday morning. Anderson has updated his resume to show the job change.
Anderson will become the director of grant programs at the New Cities Foundation in New York City.
Walter Elcock, president of the museum's board of trustees, will serve as interim director. Catherine Rose, the board's vice president, will serve as interim president. The museum says Anderson will act as a consultant to the DMA during the transition.
“I have decided to accept a compelling new opportunity at the New Cities Foundation, among the most innovative urban-focused enterprises in the world,” Anderson said in a statement. “It has been a great privilege to work alongside the Board and staff of the DMA, and to play a role in helping shape the Dallas Arts District Foundation as its chairman since 2013. My growing interest in how cultural districts can shape cities led me to this new, exciting opportunity in New York City.”
The New Cities Foundation held its New Cities Summit in Dallas in June 2014.
Focusing on how digital platforms can 'improve the lives of city dwellers'
The New Cities Foundation announced the news on its website:
Here’s part of Anderson’s bio on his website: Beginning with his first museum directorship in 1987, Maxwell L. Anderson pursued solutions to challenges facing art museums internationally. In 1988 as director of the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University (1987-1995), he inaugurated a series of loan projects highlighting unpublished treasures from the storerooms of some of the world’s leading museums in London, Paris, Rome, Mexico City, and elsewhere, looking for alternatives to buying antiquities from the illicit trade. As director of the Whitney Museum of American Art (1998-2003) he initiated the first multinational art purchase, a work by Bill Viola today jointly owned by the Whitney Museum, the Pompidou, and the Tate, to cope with the large scale of many contemporary artworks in variable media.

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