Press Releases & Statements

Association of Art Museum Directors to Meet in Seattle

New York, NY
May 18, 2017

The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) will hold its annual meeting in Seattle, Washington, from Saturday, May 20 through Monday, May 22, 2017. This will be the final meeting under the presidency of Brian Ferriso, Director and Chief Curator of the Portland Art Museum. At the conclusion of the meeting, Ferriso will be succeeded as AAMD President by Lori Fogarty, Director and CEO of the Oakland Museum of California. During the meeting, AAMD will visit the Frye Art Museum, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle Art Museum, and the Tacoma Art Museum.

In March 2017, AAMD published The Ongoing Gender Gap in Art Museum Directorships in collaboration with the National Center for Arts Research. The report is designed to deepen understanding of the current state of gender disparity in directorships of art museums in North America. As an extension of this dialogue, the meeting in Seattle will feature a public panel discussion, “Women & Leadership: A Spotlight on Current Perspectives,” on Monday, May 22 at 5:30 p.m. (PDT), at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle.

The forum will examine the causes of women’s underrepresentation in leadership roles in business, politics, and the arts, with perspectives from the art museum field, higher education, and the private sector. The conversation will also explore potential strategies and opportunities to create greater gender equity in the workplace. The discussion will feature:

·Moderator: Laurie Nash, Executive Vice President of Russell Reynolds Associates, leadership advisory and executive search consultants


o   Phyllis Campbell, Chairman, Pacific Northwest division of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

o   Kathryn Kolbert, Constance Hess Williams ‘66 Director, Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College

o   Sheila Edwards Lange, President, Seattle Central College

o   Kimerly Rorschach, Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director and CEO, Seattle Art Museum

o   Sylvia Wolf, John S. Behnke Director, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington

This event is free and open to the public, and admission will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The discussion will be live-streamed to

In addition to committee meetings, visits to cultural institutions, and informal sessions that provide members opportunities to share information on topics and issues in the field, AAMD’s annual meeting will also include the following programs:

· “Different Voices: A Social, Cultural, and Historical Framework for Change in the American Art Museum – 25 Years Later”: In 1990 and 1991, AAMD presented Different Voices, a program focused on ideas and processes in art historical scholarship and institutional engagement. This session invites some of the original participants of Different Voices, as well as contemporary thought-leaders, to explore how museums have evolved over the last 25 years.

Moderator: Chon A. Noriega, professor in the UCLA Department of Film, Television, and Digital Media and adjunct curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art


o   Amalia Mesa-Bains, renowned artist, scholar, psychologist, curator, and author

o   Carol Becker, Professor of Arts and Dean of Faculty at Columbia University School of the Arts in New York

o   Madeleine Grynsztejn, Pritzker Director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

·Philanthropy in a Changing America: This session addresses the changing nature of philanthropy, from giving for capital projects and programs to building endowment.

Moderator: Janet Brown, President and CEO of Grantmakers in the Arts


o   Huong Vu, Community Investor – Arts, Culture, and Civic Engagement, The Boeing Company

o   David Wertheimer, Director of Community and Civic Engagement, Gates Foundation.

·Crisis Management: This session features a presentation on best practices for crisis management for the art museum field, led by Ron Hartwig, Vice President, Communications, J. Paul Getty Trust.

·Directors’ Dialogue: AAMD President Brian Ferriso will moderate a conversation on the most pressing issues facing the museum field with Glenn Lowry, Director, Museum of Modern Art; Kimerly Rorschach, Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director and CEO, Seattle Art Museum; and Susan Taylor, Montine McDaniel Freeman Director, New Orleans Museum of Art.

AAMD is grateful for the support of art insurance specialist AXA ART Americas as principal sponsor for the meeting.

The Association was invited to hold its meeting in Seattle by directors of four member institutions in the region: Joseph Rosa (Frye Art Museum), Sylvia Wolf (Henry Art Gallery), Kimerly Rorschach (Seattle Art Museum) and Mark Holcomb (Interim Director, Tacoma Art Museum).

The 2017 meeting will have an active social media presence, with attendees encouraged to live-tweet and Instagram their experiences with the hashtag #AAMDSeattle.

The full schedule for this meeting is available here.

The Association of Art Museum Directors advances the profession by cultivating leadership capabilities of directors, advocating for the field, and fostering excellence in art museums. An agile, issues-driven organization, AAMD fosters engagement, leadership, and shared learning. Further information about AAMD’s professional practice guidelines and position papers is available at


Generous Support for AAMD's Annual Meeting in Seattle is provided by:



Christine Anagnos / Alison Wade
Association of Art Museum Directors

Elizabeth Chapman
Resnicow + Associates