Art museum CEO Anderson headed to Dallas

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Maxwell Anderson is stepping down as director and CEO of the Indianapolis Museum of Art to lead the Dallas Museum of Art.

The IMA late Thursday afternoon announced Anderson, 55, will be leaving Dec. 31. Anderson, former director of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, has led the IMA for 5-1/2 years.

“Max has been a champion of the museum’s mission while overseeing tremendous growth and change, including the enhancement of the museum’s collection,” Stephen Russell, chairman of IMA’s board of governors, said in prepared statement.

“Though we will miss Max’s leadership, we are confident that the IMA staff will maintain our high standards of innovation and creativity while we identify and secure our next director,” said Russell, who also is chairman of Celadon Group Inc., an Indianapolis trucking company.

Achievements during Anderson’s tenure included last year’s opening of 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, as well as the acquisition of Miller House and Garden, the iconic Eero Saarinen’s home in Columbus.

Anderson also had to grapple with fiscal challenges. The museum's main source of income, a $315 million endowment, suffered heavy losses in late 2008 and 2009, which precipitated more than $7 million in budget cuts.
Indianapolis venture capitalist Tom Hiatt, secretary of the IMA board of governors, will chair the committee that will conduct the national search for Anderson’s successor.



  • purification rite
    Saging ceremony to be held Jan. 1 at IMA.
  • As a jaybird
    The emporer wore no clothes. Period.
  • Right on, Chuck
    Chuck is right about all. It is very hard for the public to discern what was Max's contribution and what was not because he takes credit for all good and no bad. The IMA will be a much better place without him. PS The Dallas museum is not a step up. He stayed as long as he did because New York, LA, Chicago, Philadelphia and Cleveland didn't want him. Good luck, Dallas!
  • I wish Max best wishes
    Max took the IMA to a new, higher level during his tenure. He has a tremendous amount of restless energy and I never thought he would stay around forever, but he has achieved much during the time he spent here.

    They are certainly those who were put off by him making the tough decisions necessary to running a top quality museum in terrible economic times, but he managed to do so while still offering free admission and access to all.
  • Good for whom?
    I was a member of the IMA for many years and was excited to see the expansion and donated what I could to support it. But Max and the Model made me feel unwelcome. I don't own haute couture and the media don't comment on my fabulous clothing and ultra-rich friends at fundraisers. I felt pushed aside for the fancy folks. The museum itself is great and I think he did bring greater recognition and appeal, but for whom?
  • Couldn't have said it better
    Chuvk (Chuck?) hit the nail on the head!
  • Thanks for the memories
    Thanks for pillaging the endowment. Thanks for decimating the staff. Thanks for distorting the mission. Eternal gratitude is his if he takes the board and senior staff to Texas with him.
  • Dallas?
    Not New York? Not Los Angeles? Not Chicago? Not even Cleveland? Dallas? Really?
  • Unfortunate
    While I always knew this day was inevitable, I am still disappointed by Max's departure. He has helped position the IMA for a bright future and I hope his good intentions for the museum and the City will live on. It's disappointing to see the negative comments by some on this forum, but I always remind myself how easy it is to criticize when one does nothing. Thank you to Max and family for bringing fresh perspective to art and design in Indianapolis.
  • Bitter Betty's
    Mr. Anderson's wife is a lovely lady and "Todd" should be ashamed at his comments - I'm sure you're just jealous that he has her or that you are not her. The IMA has gained national and global recogniztion under his watch, some people are just always going to be negative, want a hand out, and not be willing to work hard to achomplish their own dreams - so they will always down play that of others. Good luck to Mr. Anderson and his BEAUTIFUL family...there are many of us within the IMA and the Indy Community that will miss you.
  • I agree
    Worked there back in the early 90's and it has changed a lot since then, and not for the better.
  • A refreshing change is coming
    The 100 Acres and the key people behind it were in place before Max Anderson. The Miller House would probably have come the way of the IMA with or without Mr. Anderson. His greatest accomplishment was removing the reception desk in the entry pavillion so no one feels welcome or informed when they enter the space. That and no informed gallery guards, paid parking...and so much more.
    • Dallas Has Art Culture?
      I've been to Dallas and clearly taking over the Dallas Museum of Art is a demotion.

      One would think wealthy Texas would have great art and children's museums, however, they were so weak, seeing the location of a presidential assassination probably the highlight of our visit.

      Indianapolis doesn't know how great we have it.
    • Eyewitness
      As an insider I can honestly say that I’ve never seen an administration that is so conspicuously self-serving and mean-spirited. From an outsider’s point of view, the IMA has received some positive attention in the past five years – but at what cost? Spend money, burn bridges, move on…
    • Celebrating
      What great news for the IMA
    • Great loss
      I'm saddened to hear this. Mr. Anderson improved the art and design standards of the museum (and city) by leaps and bounds. He will be missed.
    • Thanks, Mr. Anderson
      All I know is this: under Mr. Anderson's leadership the IMA has become a much better place...from the Sculpture Park to the adventurous programming. Sure there were a few missteps, but it's not like many other local arts institutions are getting the kind of national coverage that the IMA has garnered in the last couple of years for its work, for its attractions, for its policies. Thanks to you and your wife, and good luck in Dallas.
    • A Step Down
      I have been to the Dallas MoA and the IMA is way better. Maybe they think he can lead them into the big leagues.
    • Nice while it lasted
      Mr. Anderson did what others found impossible to do in the last 5 years - grow local support and revenue for an ART MUSEUM!!! His "arrogance" helped bring amazing Art to the city, a city that would normally be passed over. Yes he pissed off a few board members, fired some employees, and made changes that weren't very "hoosier-y." Well, good for him!
    • See ya...
      Not a surprise that the IMA's elitist leader is leaving...actually I'm more surprised he's stayed here this long. I'm sure many will agree that hs arrogance & attitude will not be missed.

    Post a comment to this story

    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. Hello Dear Are you tired of Seeking Loans and Mortgages,have you Been Turned down constantly By your banks and Other Financial Institutions or Micro Finance scheme. This is let you know with 100% guarantee that we Offer loans ranging from $1,000 Minimum to $1,000,000.00 Maximum at 3% interest rate per Month. We give out LOANS for developing business. a competitive edge/business expansion. email address: michealscottloan124@gmail.com We offer the following kinds of loans and many more; * Personal Loans ( Unsecured Loan) * Business Loans ( Unsecured Loan) * Consolidation Loan * Combination Loan * Home Improvement * Xmas Loans for contact to seek for loan email this email address: michealscottloan124@gmail.com Thanks

    2. My name is Mr Henry Josh and i live in the USA California and life is worth living right now for me and my family and all this is because of one man sent by GOD to help me and my family, i once had a life filled with sorrow because my first SON needed a kidney transplant and all our savings were going towards his medications and this normally leaves us with no money to pay our bills or even put enough food on our table and our rent was due and no funds to pay these bills and life felt so unfair to me and every night my wife will cry herself to sleep every night until one day, i was browsing through yahoo answers and i saw a striking advert of a man that gives out personal loans and that the offer is opened to all and i have heard so many things about internet scams but at this point of my life, i was very desperate and ready to take any risk and at the end of the day, i applied for this loan and from one step to another, i got my loan within 12 hours through bank transfer and you know, it was all like a dream and i called Mr Daniel Jones A Man who is the GOD sent lender i found and said, i have received my loan and he smiled stating that to GOD be the glory and i was so shocked as i have never ever seen anyone with such a GOD fearing and kind heart and today, i am the happiest man on earth because by GOD’S grace, my SON kidney transplant was successful and today he is healthy, i and my family are living very comfortable and happy and if you are in my former situation or in serious and legitimate need of a loan, you can reach this GOD sent lender via fidelityloanfirm@outlook.com

    3. Greetings to everyone reading this comment!!! I am Greg William by name. I am out here to recommend the effort of Mark Oscar,I was in need of a consolidation loan amount of 50,000 and as soon as I got in contact with Mark Oscar Loan Firm on Wednesday last week and on Friday last week as well I receive an alert from my bank(Royal Bank of Scotland Group) that the fund was transferred,I want everybody on this site to contact Mark Oscar now via email on how to get a loan because I got my loan from them and I am very happy,so contact them now. Oscarloanfinance@hotmail.com Thanks!!!!!!

    4. Elected officials, like Mourdock, get vested in 8 years. It takes 10 years for all other public employees, most of whom make a lot less money. So much for the promise to finish out his term.

    5. Great state treasurer and a good man!! Just curious if the folks who didn't quite understand his quote would like to tell my daughter-in-law that God didn't intend her! Mourdock's comment was correct but twisted and the article didn't mention that his opponent and the press let the impression stand that Mourdock meant that the rape was intended. Stupid people!!