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Smithsonian American Art Museum Names Stephanie Stebich Director

Stephanie Stebich. COURTESY TACOMA ART MUSEUM

Stephanie Stebich.

COURTESY TACOMA ART MUSEUM

The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. announced today that Stephanie Stebich will be its new director. She will begin in the post on April 3.

Stebich is currently the executive director of the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington State, where she has helped grow the museum’s collection, which has an emphasis on American art from the Northwest region. During her 12-year tenure at TAM, she secured the donation of the Haub Family collection of Western American art, a gift of almost 300 objects. The museum originated the much-discussed “Art AIDS America” exhibition under her directorship. Stebich was previously assistant director at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and worked at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

“I am honored to have been chosen to lead the national museum of American art in our nation’s capital,” Stebich said in a statement. “I am eager to tell the inspiring stories of American art through the museum’s phenomenal collections and dynamic programs.”

SAAM, which has its main buildings a few blocks north of the National Mall and its Renwick Gallery on the same stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue as the White House, represents more than 7,000 American artists in its collection, and has been at the forefront of collecting in such areas as New Deal art, self-taught art, African American art, Latino art, and video games.

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