Plans to focus on education, community outreach, curatorial excellence
Allentown, Pa. – Max Weintraub, an art museum professional with more than 20 years of experience in both curatorial and educational aspects of museum operation, has been named as the Allentown Art Museum’s next President and CEO by the institution’s Board of Trustees.
Weintraub’s appointment concludes a five-month national search that engaged more than 60 regional community leaders in articulating the qualifications for the position and evaluating candidates for the leadership post at the AAM, long a cornerstone of the Lehigh Valley’s cultural scene. As President and CEO he will be responsible for the successful 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.
Weintraub brings a broad and stellar resume to Allentown. Since January 2019 he has been senior curator at the Aspen Art Museum in Aspen, Colo., where he was responsible for the museum’s exhibition program. Before that he was director and chief curator of the art galleries at the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis. His experience includes eight years as a curator and professor of art history at Hunter College in New York, ten years (2006-2016) as a museum educator at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, and seven years (1999-2006) as a museum educator and film educator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Michelle Stringer, chair of the AAM Board, said Weintraub has a collaborative approach and enthusiasm to complement his experience.
“Max’s style is very inclusive, collaborative, and poised,” she said. “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.”
Weintraub echoed Stringer’s assessment of the importance of connecting the AAM with the community.
“I am delighted and humbled to join the Allentown Art Museum and to become a member of the Lehigh Valley community. 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 Allentown Art Museum, which reopened to the public in August and plans a public unveiling of its recent reattributed Rembrandt, “Portrait of a Young Woman,” amid a downtown Allentown rejuvenation that is poised to regain momentum following the pandemic.
“It is clear that Allentown is on a positive trajectory with cultural and professional development,” Weintraub said. “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 (2006). He also has an M.A. in History of Art with a focus on Modern and Contemporary Art from Bryn Mawr (2001) in addition to an M.A. in Medieval European History from North Carolina State University (1997). His undergraduate B.A. degree in History was earned at Haverford College in 1993.
Weintraub will relocate to the Lehigh Valley from Aspen, Colo.
ABOUT THE ALLENTOWN ART MUSEUM
The Allentown Art Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to use the arts and culture as a catalyst to drive interaction, experimentation, and social change for everyone. By collecting, preserving, studying, exhibiting, interpreting, and teaching visual art, the Museum enlightens, engages, energizes, and empowers people—transforming the community one person and one idea at a time. For more information please visit AllentownArtMuseum.org.
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