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Arts and Entertainment

The Cleveland Museum of Art appoints new director
New director says he plans to stay put at the museum after 15 years of leadership turnovers

William Griswold is the new director of the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Courtesy of Morgan Library and Museum
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The Cleveland Museum of Art has appointed it's 10th director. William Griswold, who currently holds a museum post in New York City, emerged as the unanimous choice after an international search

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William Griswold, 53, has spent over 25 years in the museum world. He began as a staff member at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, with subsequent stints in Los Angeles and Minneapolis, and 13 years with the Morgan Library and Museum in New York. 

Cleveland Museum trustee Peter Raskind was in charge of the search committee that unanimously chose Griswold. Raskind says dozens of candidates were screened for what is a complex job.

"It’s a very significant enterprise, from managing the budget and the people, to raising money, to community engagement," Raskind says.

Griswold says he is up to the task and looks forward to reaching out beyond the museum’s marble walls.

"The museum itself has to be welcoming," Griswold says. "The experience of visiting the museum has to be relevant, exciting, and memorable. But, the museum also has to reach out and offer educational opportunities, and art-making opportunities in the community."

Griswold’s appointment comes after the abrupt departure of David Franklin last fall. He left after it was revealed he had lied about an extra-marital relationship with a museum employee who later took her life. But, over and above that scandal, the Cleveland Museum of Art has seen a great deal of turnover, with four directors, plus interim leadership, over the past 15 years. William Griswold says he plans to stick around.

"There is a lot of movement among museum directors, these days, but I’ve done enough of that," Griswold says. "I’m coming and I’m hoping to stay until my retirement."

The museum says Griswold will start his directorship early this fall.

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