New Britain Museum of American Art announces new Director

The New Britain Museum of American Art announced today that Min Jung Kim has been selected as the sixth Director of the oldest museum in the country dedicated solely to American art.  Chosen after a nationwide search, Ms. Kim’s appointment was unanimously approved at the August 26 meeting of the Board of Trustees.

Ms. Kim, who will join the Museum on November 2, 2015, brings more than 20 years of experience in the art museum field.  She is currently Deputy Director for External Relations of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum (pronounced Brōde) of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan (Broad MSU), a new museum of contemporary art known for its building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid.

H. Todd Stitzer, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the New Britain Museum, commented, “Min Jung Kim is a highly qualified leader with the experience and credentials to bring to our very successful museum an even greater level of programming, exhibitions, and public engagement in our expanded facility.”  Stitzer further commented, “The board is excited about her ideas, leadership, curatorial skills, and her strong track record at three other art museums, especially her international work with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.  Min has the national and international contacts and experience to take the New Britain Museum of American Art forward to even greater success and make it more regionally, nationally, and globally known.”

Kim joined Broad MSU in 2011, 18 months prior to the completion of the Zaha Hadid-designed building, and provided strategic planning and management of the day-to-day operations of the museum including building the staff (which now numbers over 50) and setting up the operational infrastructure of the new museum. She was subsequently appointed as the museum’s first Deputy Director by Michael Rush, the Founding Director of the Broad MSU.
Previously, Kim worked at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York for more than 12 years, focusing on a variety of international alliances and collaborative initiatives. As Program Director of Content Alliances, Kim helped establish the partnership among the Guggenheim, the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria. As Director of Strategic Development for Asia, she expanded the Guggenheim’s presence in Asia through a series of exhibition and program exchanges. As part of the Guggenheim’s development of a master plan for a new Cultural District on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, Kim project-directed the preliminary conceptual design phase for three cultural institutions with different architects: the Louvre Abu Dhabi with Jean Nouvel; the Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Center with Zaha Hadid; and the Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Center with Tadao Ando.
Between her time at the Guggenheim and the Broad MSU, Kim was Managing Director, Exhibitions and Programming at the Global Cultural Asset Management Group in New York —an initiative founded by Thomas Krens, Director Emeritus of the Guggenheim – to develop new museums, collections and operating programs primarily in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Kim has an M.A. in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, where she specialized in Contemporary art.  She holds a B.A. in Art History from Wheaton College, Norton, MA.  Kim also attended the Getty Museum Leadership Institute, Claremont, CA.  “She is well equipped to continue the scholarship and professionalism of our museum,” added Stitzer.
“I am honored and delighted to lead the New Britain Museum of American Art,” Kim said.  “The Museum has a remarkable collection and strong educational and public programs.  I look forward to working with the Board, staff, volunteers, members, and the broader New Britain community to further advance the Museum.  The new addition provides beautiful gallery and studio space for enhanced presentation of the collection and more programs for children, families, and visitors.  Douglas Hyland has made the Museum a beloved treasure and a major economic asset to the region. I hope to build on these strong foundations and longstanding traditions of the New Britain Museum of American art, while opening the Museum to a wider range of programs and more diverse audiences.
She added, “I was impressed by the commitment and collegiality of the Museum’s board and staff and am eager to begin working with this dedicated group.  I look forward to relocating to the New Britain/Greater Hartford area and working closely with community organizations, schools and colleges, the tourism industry, the business community, and state and local officials to ensure that the Museum remains a significant force in the cultural life of the city and region.”
She continued, “I also am delighted to move closer to friends and family members living on the East Coast and New England area and to explore the many cultural and recreational amenities that Connecticut offers.

This fall, events will be announced for community members to meet Kim and learn more about what is new at the Museum.
Kim will take the reins from Douglas Hyland, who has served as Director for 16 years and who will retire at the end of October.  The Board will salute his many accomplishments at an event in his honor in conjunction with the Annual Meeting in October.

The Search Committee was chaired by Todd Stitzer, and included seven other Trustees and stakeholders with a distinguished and diverse array of experience: Ken Boudreau, Kay Cox, Anita Ferrante, John Howard, John Rathgeber, Melinda Sullivan, and Kathryn West.  For the national search, it retained Marilyn Hoffman of Museum Search & Reference, an executive-search firm located in Manchester, NH and Boston.