Friday, April 8, 2011 , Updated 3:32 p.m., September 1, 2011
UPDATEDx2: Dallas Museum of Art’s director Bonnie Pitman is stepping down
She will be remembered October 1 and 2 with a free weekend of admission.
DALLAS According to news from the Dallas Museum of Art Friday morning, the museum's Eugene McDermott director Bonnie Pitman will step down in May 2011 because of health reasons. Olivier Meslay will be the interim director; he is the Senior Curator of European and American Art and the Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Art. The museum has already formed a search committee to find the next director.
"The DMA is poised to be the center of this great city's cultural life for many decades to come," Pitman said in a statement. "I look forward to assisting the Board, Olivier, and the staff with the transition and appointment of a new director."
She has worked at the DMA since 2000 and has been director since 2008. During her time at the museum, she co-wrote the book Ignite the Power of Art, which studied ways to engage art audiences. A statement says using the tactics described in the book has caused museum attendance to grow 100%.
A statement lists more of Pitman's many accomplishments:
Ms. Pitman has directed the DMA’s engaging exhibition program, bringing major touring exhibitions to the Dallas community, such as J. M. W. Turner and Luc Tuymans; organizing collection-based exhibitions, such as African Masks: The Art of Disguise and All the World’s a Stage; and organizing and touring critically acclaimed exhibitions, including the current Gustav Stickley and the American Arts & Crafts Movement and The Mourners (with the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon, in association with FRAME). She also spearheaded the conception and creation of the Center for Creative Connections, a groundbreaking interactive and innovative learning environment, as well as other popular education and public programs, including Late Nights, 100 HOURS, and smARTphone tours, to provide greater access to the Museum and its collections.
UPDATE: Pitman was given the Award for Distinguished Service to Museums for 2011, the museum announced today. The award is given by the board of the American Association of Museums and is for individuals with at least 20 years of experience working in museums.
UPDATE x2: Pitman will be honored with a weekend of free admission to the DMA, available to the public October 1 and 2. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, October 1; and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, October 2.
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