RENO, NEVADA.-As a valued member or patron of the Nevada Museum of Art (NMA), we would like you to be one of the first to known that Steven High, Director/CEO announced today that he will be resigning his position, effective January 31, 2007, to become Director of the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah, GA. High, who was appointed director of the NMA in 1996, is the longest serving director in the institutions history and has led the NMA through one of its most dramatic periods of growth since its founding in 1931.
I am proud to have played a role in the success of the institution and to have accomplished the objectives that I had originally envisioned, said Steven High. Over the past ten years, I have had the privilege to work with a visionary board and a dedicated and talented staff. I feel we have achieved significant accomplishments and set the framework for the future. Now is a good time to bring in new leadership for the museum and for me to seek out new challenges.
Under his leadership, the NMA developed and constructed its new building, The Donald W. Reynolds Center for the Visual Arts E.L. Wiegand Gallery, which opened to critical acclaim in 2003, successfully completed a $24 million capital and endowment campaign, and increased its endowment to over $7 million.
Steven High has provided the museum with outstanding leadership and has prepared us well for the future, said Valerie Glenn, Chair, NMA Board of Trustees. We have been fortunate to have someone of Stevens caliber as our Director/CEO for as long as we have. Through his guidance, we have increased our outreach into the community, presented world-class exhibitions to northern Nevada, and created an organization that is vital to the cultural development of Reno. We certainly wish Steven the very best in his new endeavors.
Glenn has appointed a search committee to identify a replacement for High: Maureen Mullarkey, NMA Chair-Elect, will serve as Chair of the Search Committee; Kathie Bartlett, NMA Immediate Past Chair, will serve as Co-Chair; and trustees John Badwick, David Ligon and Wayne Prim will also serve on the search committee along with representatives from the community.
The Board of Trustees of the NMA will also be appointing an interim director who will work closely with the NMAs Deputy Director, Amy Oppio, and Director of Development, Thomas Jackson, to guide the institution through the transition.
The NMA is well prepared for this period of transition, said Glenn. We are operating with a skilled and devoted staff, an effective and engaged Board of Trustees, and a dynamic series of exhibitions to present in 2007.
Through his leadership, High fostered significant institutional development including refocusing the collections around themes of land and environment and establishing a framework for continued collection growth and scholarship. During his tenure, the NMA quadrupled in size and budget and its membership grew from 1,000 to 7,000 households. The NMA also grew in the visibility and recognition of its exhibitions and programs. In 1999, the NMA received the National Award for Museum Service, the most prestigious national award for museums, and in 2003 High was recognized with the Director's Chair from the Western Museum Association for distinguished service to the museum field.
The Telfair Museum of Art is the oldest art museum in the south and is known for its early 20th century collection of American impressionists as well as a growing contemporary collection. Highs first museum job was as a curatorial assistant at the Telfair in 1977. As Director, High will be responsible for the leadership of the Telfairs three diverse sites -- the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Owens-Thomas House, and the Jepson Center for the Arts, designed by Moshe Safdie, which opened to the public in March, 2006.