Press Releases

Akron Art Museum Announces Interim Director

For Release: December 21, 2012

The Akron Art Museum Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Janice Driesbach as the museum’s interim director, effective January 3, 2013. Current Director and CEO Mitchell D. Kahan’s ends his 26-year tenure on January 2 and will assume the role of Director Emeritus.

Driesbach, a native of Lakewood, Ohio, joined the museum staff in August 2012 as Chief Curator. She has worked as both a curator and museum director. After an undergraduate degree in art history and political science from Allegheny College, she received her M.A. in art history from University of Iowa, where she studied with art historian Frank Seiberling (son of Goodyear founder F.A. Seiberling). She later worked at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento as Curator of Art and held two museum directorships, at the University of Nebraska’s Sheldon Museum of Art and The Dayton Art Institute.

“As we move forward in our executive search for the museum’s next director, Jan’s experience in museum management will be an immense asset. Her appointment will provide strong continuity for both the board and staff in maintaining our high standards in planning and programming,” said Dianne Newman, president of the Board of Trustees.

“Mitchell has done a phenomenal job in advancing the mission and reputation of the Akron Art Museum and has prepared the museum for a new leader to take the next step in the museum’s development,” Newman added. To conduct the search, the board has hired Management Consultants for the Arts, a search firm in New York that works exclusively with cultural organizations and is well known in the art museum field.

“The consultants and trustees feel that the museum’s reputation for excellence, its remarkable collection and the John S. and James L. Knight Building itself will attract a high level of candidates,” said former Board president Fred Bidwell, who is leading the search process.

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