Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg announces new executive director and CEO

The museum has had seven directors since it opened in 1965.
Anne-Marie Russell is The Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg's interim executive director.
Anne-Marie Russell is The Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg's interim executive director. [ Courtesy of Matthew Holler ]
Published Mar. 17

The Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg announced today that Anne-Marie Russell is the new executive director and CEO. Russell has served as the museum’s interim director since September, following the departure of Kristen Shepherd. Russell is the museum’s seventh director since it opened in 1965.

Russell was formerly the executive director of Architecture Sarasota, an organization which “stewards the legacy of the Sarasota School of Architecture and provides a forum for the education, advocacy and celebration of good design in the global built environment,” according to its website.

She was the inaugural executive director of the Sarasota Art Museum and previously the executive director and chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson. She received a bachelor of arts in cultural anthropology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a masters in art history from the University of Arizona.

“I’m honored and inspired to be stepping into the Executive Director and CEO role at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg,” Russell said in a news release. “I look forward to working with the museum’s dedicated board and incredible staff, our members, constituents, colleagues, and supporters to continue bringing excellent exhibitions and dynamic programming to our St. Petersburg and greater Tampa Bay communities.”

Dimity Carlson, chair of the museum’s board of trustees, credited Russell’s ideas of how to connect with the community, leading to the creation of the Museum Studies Institute — a lecture series on a variety of topics.

Additional programming includes new series Art Now, The Story of Art, In Conversation and By Design. Upcoming lecturers in those series include former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins and Bob Morris in dialogue on March 23 and Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Jerry Saltz on April 1.

Upcoming exhibitions include “Lasting Impressions: Japanese Prints from the Read-Simms Collection (opening April 22) and “Best in Show: Dogs in Art at the MFA” (opening in spring).

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