Wednesday, February 21, 2024
CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Tech and Innovation - Anne-Marie Russell is Stepping Down from her position as the CEO of The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg

Lifestyle and TravelTech and Innovation

Anne-Marie Russell is Stepping Down from her position as the CEO of The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg

The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg is currently undergoing a period of significant change, marked by the recent announcement of its Executive Director and CEO, Anne-Marie Russell, stepping down on March 1. The museum’s official news release refers to this change as a “leadership transition” and states that this decision was reached through mutual agreement between the board of trustees and Russell. The board has already commenced the process of identifying a suitable replacement for her.

While Anne-Marie Russell will remain with the museum until March, her daily administrative responsibilities will be taken over by Chief Curator Stanton Thomas and Chief Strategy Officer Darcy Schuller. During this period, Russell will focus on collections stewardship programming and provide guidance on special projects.

Under Russell’s leadership, the museum introduced various programs, including art-related films, artist talks, and expert lectures. Notably, the museum’s conservatory featured artist Christian Sampson’s work “Tempus volat, hora fugit,” which adorned the windows and provided a colorful backdrop for yoga sessions, a program initiated by Russell.

Anne-Marie Russell initially joined the museum as an interim director in September of the previous year, shortly after the departure of the former executive director and CEO, Kristen Shepherd. She officially assumed her role in March. The news release highlights that Russell was given a clear mandate by the board to elevate the museum’s operational standards and best practices in preparation for reaccreditation, which she successfully implemented.

The museum has faced challenges, such as the June termination of Michael Bennett, the senior curator of ancient art. His departure followed concerns raised by the Denver Museum of Art regarding the provenance of certain ancient Greek artifacts in a traveling exhibition he organized, previously displayed at the MFA and two other museums. Bennett claimed to have received no explanation for his dismissal, which occurred a month after he was placed on administrative leave and refused to sign a nondisclosure agreement. Both the museum and Russell declined to comment on the reasons for his termination.

The museum has experienced a series of departures among its critical staff members this year. These include the recent resignations of Jane Aspinwall, senior curator of photography, and her partner, Paul Churchill, who held the position of the museum’s lead preparator of exhibits. Additionally, Jorge Vidal, who served as the museum’s senior manager of special projects, departed to assume the role of executive director at Florida CraftArt.

Previously, the museum regularly featured special exhibitions in the galleries of the Hazel Hough Wing, showcasing shows like “True Nature: Rodin and the Age of Impressionism” and “Tom Jones: Here We Stand” earlier in the year. However, following the closure of the Tom Jones exhibition in August, the only current show in that space is “The Nature of Art,” which opened on October 28 and features works from the permanent collection.


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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Tech and Innovation - Anne-Marie Russell is Stepping Down from her position as the CEO of The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg
Anna Siampani
Anna Siampani, Lifestyle Editorial Director at the CEOWORLD magazine, working with reporters covering the luxury travel, high-end fashion, hospitality, and lifestyle industries. As lifestyle editorial director, Anna oversees CEOWORLD magazine's daily digital editorial operations, editing and writing features, essays, news, and other content, in addition to editing the magazine's cover stories, astrology pages, and more. You can reach Anna by mail at