Debroah Cullen-Morales will depart the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York as director, after what the institution described as a term meant to last 18 months. She started in July of last year, and will leave at the end of December. Deputy director Klaudio Rodriguez will take over as interim director while the museum searches for a new leader.
Joseph Mizzi, the chair of the museum’s board, said in a statement, “We are all deeply grateful for Deborah’s contributions to the Bronx Museum of the Arts. She led our Museum with integrity and poise through a difficult and challenging transition following the tragic passing of Holly Block”—the institution’s previous director, who died in 2017.
Asked for more information about the departure, a museum representative said that Cullen-Morales had taken over at a “difficult time” and her contract was always supposed to last 18 months, and directed ARTnews to a press release announcing the news.
Cullen-Morales came to the Bronx Museum from the Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University in New York, where she had worked starting in 2012. “Access to the arts is so important today, and the Bronx Museum is poised to be providing that access,” she told ARTnews in June of last year. Since she started at the museum, it has opened a satellite venue in downtown Manhattan, and it has added seven new board members, including artist Angel Otero and social media strategist Karen Robinovitz. Before joining the Wallach, she had been at El Museo del Barrio for 15 years.
In a statement, Cullen-Morales said, “The Bronx Museum plays such a special role in the life of this borough, New York, and the arts community around the world, it has been an honor to work with the Museum leadership and staff in helping to bring the institution to this next phase in its growth and evolution.”