On Thursday Aaron Betsky, the director of the Cincinnati Art Museum for the past seven years, announced that he will leave the institution as soon as a successor is named. “The museum now has the programming and staff in place, and the financial stability that will allow me to openly pursue my next position,” Betsky said in a statement.
During his time in Cincinnati, Betsky increased the institution’s endowment by 18 percent, spearheaded a new master plan for its facilities, and helped it achieve some of its highest attendance figures ever — 2010 was the CAM’s third-best year in terms of visitor numbers, and 2011 was its second-best ever. He also oversaw the $13-million fundraising campaign to pay for the first phase of the museum campus’s renovations and expansion, which was completed in the spring of 2013. During his tenure the institution acquired works by Georgia O’Keeffe, Robert Rauschenberg, Augustus Saint Gaudens, Tom Wesselmann, and more.
“It is remarkable what Aaron has been able to achieve for the Art Museum and the community,” Martha Ragland, president of the museum’s board of trustees, said in a statement. “He has reinvigorated this venerable institution and opened it up for future generations. On behalf of the Board, staff and people of Cincinnati I’d like to thank him for all that he has done.”
The board has set up a search committee to find Betsky’s replacement, and he will help out with the search. Prior to taking his the directorship in Cincinnati in 2006, Betsky was the director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam. During his time in Cincinnati he continued to be an active writer and curator, filing a biweekly blog column with Architect magazine and curating the 2011 Venice Architecture Biennale.
— Benjamin Sutton (@bhsutton)
(Photo courtesy Cincinnati Art Museum.)