Timothy Rub, 69, the director and chief government officer of the Philadelphia Museum of Artwork, on Friday introduced that he’ll retire early in 2022, after 13 years on the helm of some of the prestigious artwork museums within the nation.
In 2009, he joined the museum following the sudden dying of his predecessor, Anne d’Harnoncourt, from whom he inherited a $500 million growth and renovation mission, designed by Frank Gehry. Rub, who began his tenure throughout a worldwide monetary disaster, is ending his function throughout a worldwide well being disaster that noticed the museum shuttered for a number of months.
“It has been an awesome honor to function the director of one among this nation’s best artwork museums,” Rub stated in a press release. “It has additionally been a privilege to work with a proficient and devoted workers and with a gaggle of trustees.”
However during the last 18 months, staff have questioned Rub’s management after a number of inside issues spilled into public view. Final 12 months, a former supervisor was accused of sexual misconduct and one other of bodily abuse, main authorities officers to criticize the museum. (Rub apologized to his workers for his errors in coping with the fallout.) Workers unionized final August, citing the chief government’s wrestle to handle gender and fairness points.
“If I needed to flip again the clock, I’d have additionally acknowledged sooner that we would have liked to focus on the identical time — and with equal vigor — on the museum’s inside tradition,” Rub stated, responding to questions by way of a spokesman. “We’re doing that work now, and the museum shall be higher off for it.”
Rub stated that when he took the job, he anticipated to remain about 10 years, “however with the timetable for each our building mission and our capital marketing campaign prolonged, I felt that it was necessary to remain the course.” And, the pandemic performed a task. “We’ve additionally reached some extent — after practically a year-and-a-half of coping with the challenges created by the pandemic — the place we are able to see that issues are, certainly, getting higher.”
Different necessary leaders have left the museum previously 12 months. In September, Gail Harrity, a longtime president and chief working officer, resigned. The deputy director of collections and exhibitions, Alice Beamsderfer, has additionally stepped down.
“We want him effectively,” Adam Rizzo, the union’s president, stated in an interview Friday. Different staff stated that Rub’s announcement got here as a shock to workers.
Section one of many museum’s costly overhaul had solely not too long ago completed, carrying a price ticket of $233 million, simply because the establishment battled by way of the financial challenges of the pandemic, quickly closed its galleries, introduced a 20 p.c discount in workers and anticipated a $6.5 million finances hole.
In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, the chair of the museum’s board of trustees, Leslie Anne Miller, stated that there’s some excellent debt on the development mission. She additionally informed the paper that Rub had confronted issues on the establishment.
“He has rolled up his sleeves and begun to cope with the issues, intensely, systematically and constructively,” Miller stated. “Whereas we’ve got not at all solved these issues, I feel it truthful to say that we’ve got made important progress in starting to handle them.”
Final 12 months, executives started implementing a collection of measures to enhance the work atmosphere. The board and workers members had variety coaching and entry to an nameless hotline for reporting misconduct. In August, Alphonso Atkins Jr. will start because the museum’s first director of variety, fairness, inclusion and entry.
Rub will formally step down from the museum on Jan. 30, 2022, and the board is already initiating a seek for his alternative.
“That is yet one more change for an establishment that’s quickly altering,” stated Christina Vassallo, director of the close by Cloth Workshop and Museum, explaining that the Philadelphia museum hasn’t established a dialogue with neighboring cultural establishments in recent times. “Whoever they discover to fill this function will hopefully lead the museum into the twenty first century.”