June 5, 2018

Director Lyndel King to Retire After Forty Years

Congratulations to director Lyndel King on her retirement!

Director and chief curator Lyndel King, announced today that after a forty-year tenure with the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota she will step down from her post in June 2020.

“I am planning my departure from the museum because WAM is in a great place,” said director and chief curator Lyndel King. “We have a fabulous team that faces the future with energy, creativity, sensitivity, and intelligence. I am proud of what WAM has become and want to make sure that it continues to thrive. That’s why I am announcing my retirement two years ahead of time⸺to coincide with the public phase of our capital campaign at the University and to endow the position of the director. It is my final gift to WAM.”

King joined the organization in 1978 and assumed the directorship in 1981. Her pivotal role has taken the museum, then the University Art Museum, from the narrow halls on the fourth floor of Northrop Auditorium to the striking stainless steel and brick building designed by Frank Gehry on the University’s East Bank Campus. Under her leadership the Weisman Art Museum has emerged as one of the top teaching university museums in the country creating innovative exhibitions, programs, and partnerships with artists, the University, and the community. King has overseen more than 200 exhibitions since 1981 and brought over 1.7 million visitors through the doors of the Weisman since it opened in 1993 alone.

“Through Lyndel’s leadership, the University of Minnesota has one of the top teaching museums in the country,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Karen Hanson. “The Weisman Art Museum serves a vital role in the education of our students, in the curricular development opportunities available to our faculty, and in the engagement of our community. The Weisman is a crucially important portal to our campus, and a portal to the artworld for our students. Lyndel has been alert to every opportunity to enhance the standing and the effectiveness of the Weisman, and she has been creative in responding to these opportunities. We are deeply grateful for her work, for her commitment to the University, and for her development and stewardship of a wonderful museum. It is a superb legacy.”

King’s retirement is in tandem with the capital campaign of the University. The museum’s campaign focus will be on endowing the position of the director, solidifying her legacy of creating one of the top university art museums in the country. The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost will appoint a search committee to conduct a national search for the next director beginning in the fall of 2019. The search will conclude with the new director starting in July of 2020.

Join us in congratulating Dr. Lyndel King for her service and dedication to the University and to WAM!