DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The director of the Detroit Institute of Arts, who worked to protect the museum’s collection during the city’s bankruptcy, plans to retire in June.
The museum announced Thursday that Graham Beal will retire when his contract expires June 30. The 67-year-old has served as the serving as director, president and CEO for nearly 16 years.
“It has certainly been quite a ride with some amazing highs far outweighing the other kind, and I want to thank all those whose talents and passion for the DIA helped bring success in so many different areas: among them artistic, scholarly, pedagogical, political and legal,” Beal said in a statement.
Beal’s tenure as director was highlighted by a $158 million renovation, passage of a tri-county regional millage to support museum operations and reinstallation of the museum’s collection. He also played a large hand in the DIA’s participation in the Grand Bargain initiative as part of Detroit’s bankruptcy.
“While it is difficult to close this most significant chapter in my professional life, I am delighted that it will end with an exhibition of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo’s time in Detroit. It has been 10 years since I conceived of the idea for this exhibition and I draw no small pleasure that it will mark my exit as director,” Beal said, referencing the exhibit with goes opens March 15.
Prior to his tenure at the DIA, Beal served as director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from 1996 to 1999. He was director of the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska, from 1989 to 1996 and served as chief curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art from 1984 to 1989. Beal has published many exhibition catalogs, books and articles, including an exhibition catalog on the DIA’s American paintings. He has served on numerous art panels, was a member of the Federal Advisory Committee on International Exhibitions from 1991 to 1995, and was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Association of Art Museum Directors and Chair of its Art Issues Committee from 2002 to 2005. He served on the Board of Trustees of the American Association of Museums from 2004 to 2007.
Beal, a U.S. citizen, is a native of Great Britain, born in Stratford-on-Avon. He has degrees in English and Art History from the University of Manchester and the Courtauld Institute of Art.
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