After more than 10 years at the Dallas Museum of Art, Bonnie Pitman has resigned, citing unspecified health problems. Her current role will end in May 2011, but she’ll continue to work with the DMA on special projects through April 2012. Pitman also plans to assist with the museum’s search for a new director. Current curator of European and American art, Olivier Meslay, will serve as interim director.
Ms. Pitman began her tenure as Deputy Director at the DMA in 2000, before assuming the role of Eugene McDermott Director in 2008. In this morning’s statement, John Eagle, president of the museum’s Board of Trustees, said, “Bonnie’s vision and tremendous contributions have extended beyond the Dallas Museum of Art to the museum field at large…. [W]e thank her for her intelligence and her commitment, which have allowed us to better serve our audiences and have encouraged and inspired her peers to engage the public in exciting and meaningful ways.”
In addition to a major fundraising campaign, Pitman developed new directions in the museum’s community outreach and public programming, utilizing the DMA’s collection as a focal point. Under her leadership, the museum’s encyclopedic collection has acquired 3,500 pieces, now totaling over 24,000 works. Just this year, she capped a seven-year study of institutional context with a book, Ignite the Power of Art: Advancing Visitor Engagement in Museums (Dallas Museum of Art).