Indianapolis Museum of Art Appoints Charles L. Venable as New CEO and Director

Today the Indianapolis Museum of Art named Dr. Charles L. Venable (Twitter handle @VenableArt) as its new director and CEO. Venable, who is currently the CEO and director of Louisville’s Speed Art Museum, will begin his new job on October 8, succeeding Maxwell L. Anderson, who left Indiana to become the director of the Dallas Museum of Art at the beginning of the year.

Venable’s 25-year career includes stints at the Dallas Art Museum and the Cleveland Museum of Art prior to his five-year tenure at Speed. During his time in Kentucky he launched a top-to-bottom analysis of the institution’s 14,00 piece collection, oversaw a series of major acquisitions, and set into motion a major wHY Architecture-designed 200,000-square-foot expansion into a new building, the “New Speed,” which is on track to open in 2015. In addition to these major curatorial advances, Venable’s tenure saw major increases in membership, a very successful fundraising campaign for the expansion, and a reduction in the museum’s draw from its endowment.

“With its outstanding, encyclopedic collections, its vast and historic 152-acre campus and well-deserved reputation for innovation and excellence,” Venable said in a press statement announcing his appointment, “the IMA has established itself as a pioneering arts institution that can play a major role in charting the course for American museums for the future.”

Next up in this game of Midwestern museum musical chairs is the Speed Art Museum, which will presumably soon be launching a search for a director and CEO to replace Venable.

— Benjamin Sutton