On Monday, after a five-month search, the Allentown Art Museum announced its new president and CEO. Max Weintraub, an art museum professional with more than 20 years of experience in both curatorial and educational aspects of museum operation, will take over Nov 9.
Weintraub replaces David Mickenberg who resigned in February after serving as museum president for seven years.
As President and CEO Weintraub will be responsible for the operation of the AAM, including implementing the organization’s strategic plan; overseeing exhibitions, education, and programming; building fundraising and donor capacity; and fostering productive community relationships — according to a museum news release.
Since January 2019, Weintraub has been senior curator at the Aspen Art Museum in Aspen, Colo., where he was responsible for the museum’s exhibition program. He’s also served as director and chief curator of the art galleries at the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis. Weintraub’s experience includes eight years as a curator and professor of art history at Hunter College in New York, 10 years as a museum educator at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, and seven years as a museum educator and film educator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
“I am delighted and humbled to join the Allentown Art Museum and to become a member of the Lehigh Valley community,” Weintraub said in a news release. “I am excited about this opportunity to enhance the Museum’s mission as a vital resource for its diverse audiences. I believe in making art accessible and meaningful to all, and I will continue to advance these principals as the AAM grows.”
Weintraub’s hiring comes at a forward-looking time for the museum, which reopened to the public in August and is planning a public unveiling of its recent reattributed Rembrandt work, “Portrait of a Young Woman.”
“It is clear that Allentown is on a positive trajectory with cultural and professional development,” Weintraub added. “The Allentown Art Museum is perfectly poised to help fuel that charge. Because we are perfectly situated between Philadelphia and New York, we can maximize connections with artist communities that I have worked with for decades. People want a dynamic, intimate, personal experience at a museum — and our size and wonderful world-class collection is perfectly positioned to deliver that.”
Weintraub’s education formulated his ties to the Philadelphia area. He holds a Ph.D. in History of Art with a focus on Modern and Contemporary Art from Bryn Mawr College. He also has an M.A. in History of Art with a focus on Modern and Contemporary Art from Bryn Mawr in addition to an M.A. in Medieval European History from North Carolina State University. His undergraduate B.A. degree in History was earned at Haverford College in 1993.
Michelle Stringer, chair of the museum’s board, said Weintraub has a collaborative approach and enthusiasm to complement his experience.
“Max’s style is very inclusive, collaborative, and poised,” she indicated. “He has demonstrated a strong ability to connect with different constituencies and engage with wide varieties of stakeholders, which is essential for a museum like ours that plays so many essential roles in the community. We are confident he will be the type of leader who can inspire our team to greatness and move the entire Lehigh Valley arts scene forward.”
Diane Scott, former superintendent of Allentown School District, has been working as interim executive director since Mickenberg’s departure.
The Allentown Art Museum reopened in August, after closing in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The public may now visit the museum in person by following COVID-19 precautions, including mask-wearing and social distancing.
Current museum exhibits include “Evolution of the Spiritual: Europe to America,” “Collecting Across Cultures: Japanese Textiles in the West” and “Indian Sculpture: Avatars of the Hindu Gods.”
ALLENTOWN ART MUSEUM
Where: 31 North Fifth Street, Allentown
Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday
Info: 610-432-4333, allentownartmuseum.org
Morning Call Arts & Entertainment Editor Craig Larimer can be reached at 610-778-7993 or at [email protected]
Follow Craig on Twitter @cklarimer
Read more stories by Craig Larimer here.
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