Indianapolis Museum of Art

Indianapolis, IN



Indianapolis Museum of Art Appoints Anthony G. Hirschel as New Director


Andrew J. Paine Jr., chairman of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, has announced Anthony G. Hirschel will become the Museum's new director and CEO effective November 12, 2001. Hirschel, 43, will succeed Bret Waller, who is retiring after 11 years with the Museum. Waller will be designated director emeritus of the IMA and will continue to serve in an advisory capacity following his retirement.

'"Tony Hirschel has 15 years of art museum experience, a strong educational background and demonstrated leadership ability," Paine said. "He brings knowledge, energy and enthusiasm to the job, which will enable him to continue to move the IMA toward realization of the ambitious vision we have developed over the past decade. He is a wonderful fit for the IMA and the Indianapolis community."

"The Museum will be in excellent hands," said retiring IMA director Waller. "Tony is well known and highly regarded in the museum community. His colleagues and fellow workers speak enthusiastically of his hands-on leadership and his ease in working with people. He will be welcomed and embraced by the IMA staff, board and trustees, as well as the larger community." (left: Anthony G. Hirschel. Photo couresy of Indianapolis Museum of Art)

A search committee, led by former IMA chairman Leonard Betley, conducted an international search for the new director over a period of several months. Other members of the committee include Randolph Deer, Lori Efroymson, Ann Stack, John Thompson and Richard Wood. All are members of the Museum' s board of governors. The full board voted unanimously to appoint Hirschel.

"I am honored and excited by this opportunity," said Hirschel. "The Indianapolis Museum of Art is an outstanding institution that is now beginning to receive the national and international recognition it deserves. I eagerly anticipate working with the Museum's excellent staff and dedicated governors and trustees to move the IMA further into the forefront of America's great art museums."

He continued, "The IMA is one of the city and state's most important treasures and I look forward to sharing with the public all the Museum has to offer. We owe Bret Waller great thanks for the superb leadership and vision he has demonstrated during his tenure as director; I am delighted he has agreed to continue serving the IMA."

Hirschel will be only the 10th director in the Museum's 118-year history. Born in Detroit, he comes to the IMA from the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Atlanta's Emery University, where he has served as director since 1997, He also holds an appointment in the art history department at the university. During his tenure at the Carlos Museum, Hirschel led a successful public fundraising effort to purchase the most important collection of ancient Egyptian funerary objects acquired by a museum in the last half century. The collection, which has been undergoing extensive conservation treatment and research for the last two years, will be publicly unveiled this fall.

While in Atlanta, Hirschel also oversaw the significant expansion of the Carlos Museum's collections of ancient Greek and South Asian art, made possible, in part, by multi-million dollar donations. In addition, he substantially expanded and strengthened the museum's curatorial ranks and fostered its international collaborations during a period of steadily increasing attendance.

Prior to becoming director of the Carlos Museum, Hirschel was director of the Bayly Art Museum at the University of Virginia in Charlottesviile, and taught at Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg. He is a graduate of the Museum Management Institute, a program of the J. Paul Getty Trust, located at the University of California, Berkeley campus.

Hirschel earned his master of philosophy degree in art history from Yale University. His bachelor's degree, in European history and art history, is from the University of Michigan where he graduated summa cum laude. While at Yale, Hirschel served a curatorial internship in the Yale University Art Gallery's department of prints, drawings and photographs. He taught in the department of art history at Yale and served as editor and researcher in preparation for publication of a handbook of the museum's collections. In 1987 he became assistant to the director and in 1991 was named assistant director of the Yale University Art Gallery.

Hirschel's area of art historical scholarship is the Italian Renaissance, and he has published and lectured internationally in this field. In the course of his museum career, Hirschel has been involved with exhibitions on subjects ranging from ancient Egypt to modern Russian art and architecture. Hirschel's background encompasses curatorial research, collections care, education, fundraising, personnel and administration.

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