Arts District: Leadership at CMA

And more local arts news

Newly appointed interim director of the Cleveland Museum of Art Deborah Gribbon resigned in 2004 from her most recent post as director of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles over "disagreements" with former Getty Trust president Barry Munitz. Noted art blogger Tyler Green wrote that on her last day — though they were effectively prevented by Munitz from giving her a proper send-off — her colleagues organized on the sly to give her a standing ovation. She's been retired since. Two years later, Munitz would be forced out of the Getty Trust over charges of improper use of the trust's money.

As a result, just two months after CMA director Timothy Rub's surprise announcement that he is leaving to become director of Philadelphia Museum of Art, CMA has attracted a top-tier director (with ethics and a spine, to boot) out of retirement to come here from Los Angeles — at least for the year the museum plans to search for a permanent director. The museum has given no indication whether Gribbon is in the running for the job, though they simultaneously announced that the New York-based arts executive headhunting firm Phillips Oppenheim has been retained to conduct the search.

Gribbon is a Harvard-educated PhD in art and art history. Her dissertation was on the art of Edouard Manet. Her arrival comes just a few months before the museum's trustees will assess finances and vote on whether to proceed on their multi-year construction project, which is roughly at its halfway point. She starts September 14, one week before Rub's departure.

Cleveland Scene art critic Douglas Max Utter is one of 30 artists selling work at Artsyism, a garden party to benefit awareness-raising organization Autism Speaks and AIDS Task Force of Greater Cleveland's food pantry. It's organized by Donald Bingham Schmidt and Shari Goldberg, and presented at Schmidt's Cleveland Heights home. In addition to the art sale, one of the region's most innovative dancer/choreographers Lisa Locke will perform in Schmidt's pool. Other artists selling work include jewelry designer Gai Russo and photographer Larry Coleman. It's from noon-5 p.m Sunday, August 30. For information, contact Shari Goldberg at 440.449.9922. Admission: two non-perishable food items.

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