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Art & Museums

Zelevansky to step down as head of Carnegie Museum of Art

Lynn Zelevansky, the Henry J. Heinz II Director of Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland, has announced her decision to step down as director.

She joined the museum in 2009 after serving for 14 years as the Terri and Michael Smooke curator and department head of contemporary art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art and seven years in the painting and sculpture department at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

“Carnegie Museum of Art is a great institution, and I’m extremely proud of the many significant contributions we’ve been able to make over my eight years here,” she said in a news release. “I am most appreciative of the hard work of the fabulous CMOA team, and I wish everyone the best of luck going forward.”

The date of Zelevansky’s departure will be determined as part of a transition plan, according to the museum.

During her tenure, the museum presented the 2013 Carnegie International and she oversaw the launch of the Hillman Photography Initiative. The museum also introduced a series of new social programs, including the popular Third Thursdays events, which attract many first-time visitors.

Former Carnegie Museum of Art director Richard Armstrong, who is now director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, said, “Lynn has been an innovative and fearless leader for Carnegie Museum of Art. The remarkable staff she leaves at the museum, complemented by its unique collection are part of her legacy. The museum ‘s newly inclusive public constitutes another.”

She co-organized two major touring retrospectives — “Paul Thek: Diver” (2010), in partnership with the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and “Helio Oiticica:To Organize Delirium” (2016) with the Whitney and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Her passion for innovative programming has moved the museum forward in so many exciting directions, Marty McGuinn, chair of the Carnegie Museum of Art board, said in the news release.

“That passion has inspired us and driven us to achieve great things at Carnegie Museum of Art,” McGuinn says.

“It was always a pleasure working with Lynn as her passion for art history and curatorial excellence motivated all that she achieved in Pittsburgh, and as such she will leave an indelible mark on the Carnegie Museum of Art,” said Eric Shiner, former director of the Andy Warhol Museum who know works for Sotheby’s as a senior vice president in its fine art division. “She put together a world-class team of professionals that will carry on in her spirit, insuring that the most relevant art of our age is front and center in Pittsburgh.”

“Her leadership has set the museum on a strong trajectory of ever-increasing relevance, both locally and globally, which is the very best kind of legacy,” Jo Ellen Parker, president and CEO of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, said in the news release.

Details: cmoa.org

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-853-5062 or [email protected] of via Twitter @Jharrop_Trib.


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Lynn Zelevansky, The Henry J. Heinz II Director of Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland, announced her decision to step down as director. She joined the museum in 2009 after serving for 14 years as the Terri and Michael Smooke curator and department head of contemporary art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art and seven years in the painting and sculpture department at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The date of Zelevansky’s departure will be determined as part of a transition plan, the news release says.
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Museum director Judy O'Toole poses for a portrait photo Thursday, Sept. 07, 2017 at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art. O'Toole will be retiring from her position as the director of the museum next summer.
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Museum director Judy O'Toole poses for a portrait photo Thursday, Sept. 07, 2017 at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art. O'Toole will be retiring from her position as the director of the museum next summer.
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Museum director Judy O'Toole talks about her career as CEO and director inside her office, flanked by two pieces of sculpture created by her husband, Kevin O'Toole, on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017 at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art. O'Toole will be retiring from her position as the director of the museum next summer.
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Tribune-Review
Judith Hansen O'Toole, the Richard M. Scaife Director/CEO of The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, and Thomas Padon, The James H. Duff director of the Brandywine River Museum of Art, look over the selection that they have acquired from the private collection of the late Richard M. Scaife on Dec. 3, 2014.
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Kim Stepinsky | for TRIB TOTAL MEDIA
Judith Hansen O’Toole, the Richard M. Scaife Director/CEO of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, leads a 'SmART Chat' gallery walk in 2015.
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Museum director Judy O'Toole poses for a portrait photo Thursday, Sept. 07, 2017 at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art. O'Toole will be retiring from her position as the director of the museum next summer.
gtrotoole3090817
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Museum director Judy O'Toole poses for a portrait photo Thursday, Sept. 07, 2017 at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art. O'Toole will be retiring from her position as the director of the museum next summer.
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Museum director Judy O'Toole poses for a portrait photo Thursday, Sept. 07, 2017 at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art. O'Toole will be retiring from her position as the director of the museum next summer.
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