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Maxwell Anderson, Dallas Museum Of Art Director, Leaving To Join New Cities Foundation

Jerome Weeks
Maxwell Anderson, Dallas Museum of Art director, in 2013.

Maxwell Anderson, who’s been director of the Dallas Museum of Art since 2012, is leaving to join the New Cities Foundation.

The Dallas Museum of Art announced the news in a press release late Monday morning. Anderson has updated his resume to show the job change.

Anderson will become the director of grant programs at the New Cities Foundation in New York City.

Walter Elcock, president of the museum's board of trustees, will serve as interim director. Catherine Rose, the board's vice president, will serve as interim president. The museum says Anderson will act as a consultant to the DMA during the transition.

“I have decided to accept a compelling new opportunity at the New Cities Foundation, among the most innovative urban-focused enterprises in the world,” Anderson said in a statement. “It has been a great privilege to work alongside the Board and staff of the DMA, and to play a role in helping shape the Dallas Arts District Foundation as its chairman since 2013. My growing interest in how cultural districts can shape cities led me to this new, exciting opportunity in New York City.”

The New Cities Foundation held its New Cities Summit in Dallas in June 2014.

Focusing on how digital platforms can 'improve the lives of city dwellers'

The New Cities Foundation announced the news on its website:

"The New Cities Foundation is pleased to welcome Maxwell Anderson as Director of Grant Programs," according to the group's statement. "A veteran art museum curator and director, most recently of the Dallas Museum of Art, Max will help develop ways of supporting NCF’S focus on urban innovation, with a particular emphasis on how digital platforms can improve the lives of city dwellers internationally. He will also assist the Foundation’s affiliate GCDN (the Global Cultural Districts Network) along with other endeavors to improve the quality of urban life through strategic investments, advocacy, and foundation alliances. A former NCF trustee, he has a Ph.D. in art history from Harvard University and extensive experience in international affairs within the cultural sector, along with multiple achievements in harnessing digital media for community engagement, corporate transparency, and mission-focused communications."

D Magazine has more details:

If Anderson has resigned, it comes amid a long string of prominent resignations at the museum. Over the past two years, there has been turnover of senior officials in virtually every department of the museum. Critics have also questioned Anderson’s priorities as director of the DMA, and rumors about low museum morale, crimped curatorial budgets, and turmoil in the development department have swirled around the museum for years.

Anderson career highlights

Here's an earlier press release from the DMA announcing Anderson's appointment as director, effective January 2012.

Here’s part of Anderson’s bio on his website:

Beginning with his first museum directorship in 1987, Maxwell L. Anderson pursued solutions to challenges facing art museums internationally. In 1988 as director of the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University (1987-1995), he inaugurated a series of loan projects highlighting unpublished treasures from the storerooms of some of the world’s leading museums in London, Paris, Rome, Mexico City, and elsewhere, looking for alternatives to buying antiquities from the illicit trade. As director of the Whitney Museum of American Art (1998-2003) he initiated the first multinational art purchase, a work by Bill Viola today jointly owned by the Whitney Museum, the Pompidou, and the Tate, to cope with the large scale of many contemporary artworks in variable media.

More coverage from KERA

For more stories about Anderson through the years, check out KERA's Art&Seek.

Video: Anderson reflects on first year at DMA

In 2013, Anderson appeared on KERA's CEO. Watch the conversation here: