Detroit Institute of Arts Director to Retire

  • DETROIT, Michigan
  • /
  • January 08, 2015

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Woodward Lobby, Detroit Institute of Arts

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) announced Thursday that Director Graham W. J. Beal will retire as of June 30, 2015, after serving as director, president and CEO for nearly 16 years.

Since joining the DIA, Beal has presided over some of the most significant accomplishments in the museum’s history, including a tremendously successful reinvention of presenting art to the public; passage of a tri-county regional millage to support museum operations; and the DIA participation in the historic and unprecedented grand bargain initiative, which secured for future generations’ the DIA’s widely acclaimed art collection while also successfully facilitating resolution of the Detroit bankruptcy.

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Beal has overseen two major capital campaigns, has built on the museum’s outstanding reputation with regard to art acquisitions and exhibitions, has greatly increased attendance and expanded the DIA’s community outreach and awareness through programming and innovative art installations.

Under Beal's leadership, the DIA has co-organized outstanding exhibitions such as Van Gogh: Face to Face in 2000, Magnificenza! The Medici, Michelangelo and the Art of Late Renaissance Florence in 2003 and organized the highly anticipated Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit, which opens March 15, 2015.

“Graham has been an invaluable leader who has strengthened the museum in so many ways,” said Eugene A. Gargaro Jr., DIA board chair. “Graham has also led the museum through extremely challenging economic times, developed international stature and respect for the DIA, strengthened the collection and initiated a culture change that resulted in the museum becoming more accessible to all. We will truly miss Graham’s leadership.”

“It has certainly been quite a ride with some amazing highs far outweighing the other kind, and I want to thank all those whose talents and passion for the DIA helped bring success in so many different areas: among them artistic, scholarly, pedagogical, political and legal,” said Beal.

“I have been particularly fortunate to work with such an outstanding Chairman of the Board, Gene Gargaro. While it is difficult to close this most significant chapter in my professional life, I am delighted that it will end with an exhibition of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo’s time in Detroit. It has been 10 years since I conceived of the idea for this exhibition and I draw no small pleasure that it will mark my exit as director.” 


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