Timothy Rub, 69, the director and chief govt officer of the Philadelphia Museum of Artwork, on Friday introduced that he’ll retire early in 2022, after 13 years on the helm of one of the vital 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 venture, designed by Frank Gehry. Rub, who began his tenure throughout a worldwide monetary disaster, is ending his position throughout a worldwide well being disaster that noticed the museum shuttered for a number of months.
“It has been an ideal honor to function the director of considered one of this nation’s most interesting artwork museums,” Rub mentioned in a press release. “It has additionally been a privilege to work with a gifted and devoted employees and with a bunch of trustees.”
However over the past 18 months, workers have questioned Rub’s management after a number of inner issues spilled into public view. Final 12 months, a former supervisor was accused of harassment and one other of bodily abuse, main authorities officers to criticize the museum. Staff unionized final August, citing the chief govt’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 similar time — and with equal vigor — on the museum’s inner tradition,” Rub mentioned, responding to questions via a spokesman. “We’re doing that work now, and the museum shall be higher off for it.”
Rub apologized to his employees for his errors in coping with the fallout.
He mentioned Friday that when he took the job, he anticipated to remain about 10 years, “however with the timetable for each our building venture and our capital marketing campaign prolonged, I felt that it was vital to remain the course.” And, the pandemic performed a task. “We’ve additionally reached some extent — after almost 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 vital leaders have left the museum up to now 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 nicely,” Adam Rizzo, the union’s president, mentioned in an interview Friday. Different workers mentioned that Rub’s announcement got here as a shock to employees.
Part one of many museum’s costly overhaul had solely lately completed, carrying a price ticket of $233 million, simply because the establishment battled via the financial challenges of the pandemic, quickly closed its galleries, introduced a 20 % discount in employees and anticipated a $6.5 million price range hole.
In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, the chair of the museum’s board of trustees, Leslie Anne Miller, mentioned that there’s some excellent debt on the development venture. She additionally advised the paper that Rub had confronted issues on the establishment.
“He has rolled up his sleeves and begun to take care of the issues, intensely, systematically and constructively,” Miller mentioned. “Whereas we now have certainly not solved these issues, I believe it honest to say that we now have made important progress in starting to handle them.”
Final 12 months, executives started implementing a collection of measures to enhance the work surroundings. The board and employees 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 another change for an establishment that’s quickly altering,” mentioned Christina Vassallo, director of the close by Material 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 position will hopefully lead the museum into the twenty first century.”