This is pretty huge news — the leader of our largest local art museum is leaving.
Marena Grant Morrisey has been with Orlando Museum of Art since 1970, and has been celebrated for keeping the institution afloat during tough economic times. During her tenure, the Museum's Acquisition Trust has added hundreds of significant modern works to the permanent collection – buying contemporary art being a clever move in terms of bang-for-buck. Having announced her intention to retire to the board in 2010, Ms. Morrisey has overseen the search for a new museum director, and will stay on at OMA through the end of 2012 to ensure a smooth transition.
Her replacement, new executive director Glen Gentele, comes to Orlando from the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, where he presided since 2009; before that, Gentele was director of the Laumeier Sculpture Park on St. Louis, Mo. (Does this mean we can look forward to some interesting installations on the Loch Haven Park lawn? One can only hope.) Gentele's bona fides in arts administration are unimpeachable, but this – evidence of an administrator with a true contemporary-art background – is somehow more exciting to us for now.
We'll have more to say in upcoming days, but for now we extend our best wishes and thanks to Ms. Morrisey and Mr. Gentele.