The changes on the local visual art scene just keep coming. Hot on the heels of Scott Boberg leaving the CAC — as well as several staff cuts at the CAC and the Cincinnati Art Museum — the Taft Museum of Art announced today that its director, Eric M. Lee, will be “leaving his post in March 2009 to assume the directorship of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.”
Lee, who previously was the director of the University of Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art for more than a decade, joined the Taft in January 2009. He oversaw a range of high-profile exhibitions as well as the implementation of various endeavors in an effort to make the museum more accessible, most of which were pretty successful (at least from my point of view).
“We are saddened by Eric’s departure, but offer our congratulations and sincere appreciation for his successful tenure at the Taft,” said Paul Chellgren, chairman of Taft’s Board of Directors, in a press release.
"I have deeply valued my time at the Taft," Lee said in the release. "I will always have a special affection for the Museum, its world-class collections, and most of all, for the people who make the Museum such a great institution. Cincinnati is a wonderful community that is extraordinarily supportive of all its many fine arts organization. But the Taft holds a special place in the hearts of many, as it always will for me."
Lee's jump shouldn't come as a surprise: Kimbell Art Museum is one of the biggest and most prestigious museums in the country.
No announcement has been made about his interim replacement.