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Saint Louis Art Museum Welcomes First Female Director Later This Summer
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Saint Louis Art Museum Welcomes First Female Director Later This Summer

Min Jung Kim mugshot for SLAM Arts Speak.jpg

The Saint Louis Art Museum recently named the first female director in its 142-year history: Min Jung Kim.

Kim, who will officially rank as the museum’s Barbara B. Taylor Director, follows Brent R. Benjamin in that capacity, according to a June press release from the Forest Park institution.

Benjamin helmed the museum for 22 years. Kim will be only its 11th director in the course of almost a century and a half.

Her predecessor retired on July 1, and till Kim assumes the directorship “later this summer,” according to the press release, Carolyn J. Schmidt, the museum’s deputy director and controller, will serve as interim director.

During almost three decades of museum service, the press release notes, Kim – who hails from Seoul, South Korea – previously served a notably long stint at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the famed Frank Lloyd Wright-designed edifice in New York City’s Manhattan borough.

Immediately prior to accepting the position here, Kim served as director and CEO of Connecticut’s New Britain Museum of American Art. She also previously served at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University in East Lansing.

“The Saint Louis Art Museum is one of the most prestigious museums in the country, and I am deeply honored to be chosen to lead this great institution,” the press release quotes Kim as saying. “It has a premier collection, a long and distinguished history and a terrific and experienced staff.”

The press release further quotes Kim as saying: “I am excited to build upon the museum’s strong foundational base, get to know and partner with the diverse communities of St. Louis and work with the talented team of the Saint Louis Art Museum in taking the institution to even greater heights.”

Preceding Kim’s appointment were both a four-month “listening project” involving manifold inputs and a global search.

Charles Lowenhaupt, museum board of commissioners president, is quoted in the press release as saying: “In Min Jung Kim we have found a director who is uniquely qualified to build on our rich tradition, provide a world view of art and culture, and enhance the relationship between our institution and our community in this next era for the Saint Louis Art Museum.” 

Saint Louis Art Museum, One Fine Arts Drive, St. Louis, 314-721-0072,

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Bryan A. Hollerbach serves as LN's copy editor and one of its staff writers. He loves to read, write, impersonate an amateur artist and research all things bibulous.

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