Timothy Rub to resign at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Timothy Rub, 69, director and CEO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, announced on Friday that he will retire in early 2022, after 13 yea...


Timothy Rub, 69, director and CEO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, announced on Friday that he will retire in early 2022, after 13 years at the helm of one of the most prestigious art museums from the country.

In 2009, he joined the museum following the sudden death of his predecessor, Anne d’Harnoncourt, from whom he inherited a $ 500 million expansion and renovation project, designed by Frank Gehry. Rub, who began his tenure during a global financial crisis, is ending his role during a global health crisis that has seen the museum closed for several months.

“It has been a great honor to serve as director of one of the best art museums in this country,” Rub said in a statement. “It was also a privilege to work with a talented and dedicated staff and with a group of directors.”

But over the past 18 months, employees have questioned Rub’s leadership after several internal issues came to the public’s attention. Last year a former director was accused of sexual misconduct and another of physical abuse, from senior government officials criticize the museum. (Scrub apologized to his staff for his mistakes in managing the fallout.) Employees unionized last August, citing the CEO’s struggle to address gender and equity issues.

“If I had to go back, I would also have recognized earlier that we need to focus at the same time – and with the same vigor – on the internal culture of the museum,” said Rub, answering questions via ‘a spokesperson. “We are doing this work now, and the museum will be better off for it.”

Rub said when he took the job he expected to stay around 10 years, “but with the timing of our construction project and our extended fundraising campaign, I felt it was important to keep the direction”. And the pandemic played a role. “We have also reached a point – after almost a year and a half of dealing with the challenges created by the pandemic – where we can see that things are indeed improving.”

Other important leaders have left the museum in the past year. In September, longtime president and chief operating officer Gail Harrity resigned. The deputy director of collections and exhibitions, Alice Beamsderfer, has also resigned.

“We wish him good luck,” union president Adam Rizzo said on Friday. Other employees said Rub’s announcement surprised staff.

The first phase of the museum’s costly overhaul had just come to an end, with a price tag of $ 233 million, just as the institution battled the economic challenges of the pandemic, temporarily closed its galleries, announced a reduction 20% of its staff and planned $ 6.5 million. budget gap.

In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, museum board chair Leslie Anne Miller said there was an unpaid debt on the construction project. She also told the newspaper that Rub had faced problems in the institution.

“He rolled up his sleeves and started dealing with the issues in an intense, systematic and constructive way,” Miller said. “While we have by no means resolved these issues, I think it’s fair to say that we’ve made significant strides in starting to resolve them.”

Last year, managers began to implement a series of measures to improve the working environment. The board and staff received diversity training and had access to an anonymous hotline to report misconduct. In August, Alphonso Atkins Jr. will debut as the museum’s first Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access.

Rub will officially leave the museum on January 30, 2022, and the board is already looking for his replacement.

“This is one more change for a rapidly evolving institution,” said Christina Vassallo, director of the nearby Fabric Workshop and Museum, explaining that the Philadelphia museum has not established a dialogue with neighboring cultural institutions in recent times. years. “Whoever they can find to fill this role will hopefully lead the museum into the 21st century. “

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Newsrust - US Top News: Timothy Rub to resign at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Timothy Rub to resign at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
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