NEW ORLEANS, LA.- The New Orleans Museum of Art
(NOMA) announces the appointment of Susan M. Taylor as Director Designate. She will officially become the Museum's sixth director on September 1, 2010.
Taylor will succeed E. John Bullard, who will retire as one of America's longest-serving museum directors. Bullard will remain on staff as Director Emeritus to aid Taylor in the transition and will continue to work on NOMA's centennial celebrations throughout 2011.
"As NOMA commemorates a century of art, I am thrilled that Susan Taylor has been selected to lead the Museum into its next chapter of service and success," Bullard said. "I have known her for a number of years and know that she is an outstanding choice to lead our institution."
A museum director for over 20 years, Taylor most recently directed Princeton University Art Museum, where she is well-known for instituting wide-ranging innovations in collections development, planning, programming and outreach. She is also deeply involved in the ongoing debate about collection ownership and cultural property issues, having successfully resolved several ownership claims for works of art in Princeton's collection.
"I am delighted to be joining a museum of the caliber of NOMA," Taylor said. "To follow John's legacy and write the next chapter of the Museum's history is a remarkable opportunity."
Taylor is the former director of the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College. During her twelve-year tenure at Wellesley, she oversaw the construction of an award-winning museum facility designed by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo. She holds art history degrees from Vassar College and the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.
Bullard's retirement from NOMA has been planned for nearly a year. In September 2009, the Museum Board formed a search committee and in October enlisted the services of Laurie Nash of Russell Reynolds Associates. Taylor was selected from a large field of applicants.
"Susan Taylor was selected from a field of strong candidates thanks to Laurie Nash of Russell Reynolds Associates," said Donna Rosen, trustee and member of NOMA's Search Committee. "I spoke to many museum directors around the country about Susan. Words that came up most often while describing her were 'imaginative, encyclopedic knowledge of the history of art, high standards, seizes opportunities, visionary, intelligent and of our time.' In fact, through the search process, all of these accolades were revealed."
"NOMA is a true jewel in New Orleans' cultural crown and building on the great job John Bullard has done is a daunting task," said Stephen Hansel, president of NOMA's Board of Directors and Chairman of the Search Committee. "Susan Taylor was our Search Committee's overwhelming first choice because of her broad experience, charm, contacts and managerial expertise. We are confident that she will lead NOMA to even greater heights."