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IMA chooses new CEO from Kentucky art museum

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The Indianapolis Museum of Art has chosen the leader of a Louisville art museum as its new CEO, the IMA announced Wednesday afternoon.

Charles L. Venable, 52, the director and CEO of the Speed Art Museum in Louisville since 2007, will replace Maxwell Anderson, who left the IMA in January to become director of the Dallas Museum of Art. Venable will start the new job Oct. 8.

Founded in 1927, the Speed Art Museum is Kentucky's largest and oldest art museum. It boasts a collection of more than 13,000 works of art and receives more than 180,000 visitors per year.

The museum plans to launch a $79 million expansion later this year. To support that project, it has raised 95 percent of the $50 million sought in an ongoing capital campaign led by Venable.

“Charles has a proven track record as a director, curator and fundraiser at leading museums across the country,” said June McCormack, chair of the IMA Board of Governors, in a prepared statement. “During his five years as director of the Speed, Charles developed and instituted a clear vision for the future of his museum. He also initiated innovative partnerships that broadened the Speed’s reach throughout the Louisville community, which speaks to his understanding of how a museum can serve as an anchor and cultural hub for its city, as the IMA does for Indianapolis.”

Venable previously spent five years as the Cleveland Museum of Art's deputy director for collections and programs.

The native of Texas worked for 16 years at the Dallas Museum of Art before leaving for Cleveland in 2002.

Venable earned his doctorate in American studies at Boston University in 1993. He also has a master's degree in fine and decorative art from the University of Delaware and a bachelor's degree in American history and art history from Rice University.

Anderson led the IMA for more than five years before taking the Dallas position.

The IMA said Venable and his partner, Martin Webb, will live at Westerley, the historic 1920s estate that was once home to the Clowes family and given to the IMA for use as the director’s residence.

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  • Hopeful
    Best of luck, Mr. Venable! You will need it to deal with the morass the previous director left in his wake.

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  1. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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