After 25 years at the helm, Sherri Geldin will leave her post as the director of Wexner Center for the Arts at the Ohio State University in Columbus. She had been in her position at the museum since 1993, and will stay on in her post through the end of the year. A release did not detail Geldin’s next steps or the museum’s process for choosing a new director.
In her time at the Wexner Center, Geldin helped the museum grow significantly. The institution tripled its operating budget over the course of her tenure, and her work earned the museum various monetary awards, including an $800,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that supported projects about Brazilian contemporary art and a $1.5 million grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. She also expanded the museum’s board of trustees and oversaw a major $15 million renovation. The museum’s board established a fund in Geldin’s name in 2013.
“The honor and privilege to direct the Wex for 25 years has been the opportunity of a lifetime, and one I will always cherish,” Geldin said in a statement. “I make this decision with the deep conviction that it’s now the opportune time for the center, the university, and me to make way for a new generation of leadership.”
Under Geldin, the museum also established itself as a destination for contemporary art. Notable exhibitions included a 2016 survey of work by artists who studied and taught at Black Mountain College, a 1995 Roy Lichtenstein retrospective, a 2015 Jack Whitten survey, and a 2009 Luc Tuymans show.
Geldin also made an effort to improve the museum’s film- and video-related events and exhibitions by hosting projects by Sadie Benning, Ann Hamilton, Andy Warhol, and others. In 2015, the Andy Warhol Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services gave the Wexner Center $250,000 to support its programming in those fields.
Leslie H. Wexner, the chair of the Wexner Foundation board, said of Geldin in a statement, “The artistic significance of what she has brought to Ohio, at the Wexner Center, is hard to exaggerate as it never strays from the highest rungs of quality or from the courage required to undertake a full exploration of the creative spirit.”
Prior to joining the Wexner Center, Geldin was the associate director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. She was a trustee at the Warhol Foundation for nine years, and was for two years chair of its board. Geldin continues to be a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors.