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News Flash: Terence Riley Resigns Directorship of Miami Art Museum UPDATED

Riley2.jpg
Terence Riley, former director of Miami Art Museum

This is a shocker.

I know nothing about the resignation of Terence Riley from the directorship of the Miami Art Museum, other than what’s in the press release that just hit my inbox with a loud thud. What makes this even more surprising is that he resigned “effective immediately”—usually a sign that something is amiss.

According to the press release:

He will be resuming his role as partner at Keenen/Riley Architects, with
various design and consulting projects in New York, Spain and Mexico,
and will continue to work with MAM as a consultant through June 30,
2010.

Here’s the quote from Riley:

Since becoming director of MAM [the Miami Art Museum], I have worked
closely with the trustees and staff to energize the museum’s
programming, build its collections, and design a new home of remarkable
distinction that has garnered the broad endorsement of Miami’s civic
leaders and citizens. We are now ready to break ground on a building
that is poised to be one of the greenest art museums ever built in the
Americas. As such, this is the right moment for me
to pursue other interests and for MAM to smoothly transition to a new
leader who will see this project to its fruition.

The museum’s chairman, Aaron Podhurst, praised Riley for doing a “superb job” in “focusing MAM’s mission and creating a clear vision for the development of the museum’s new building.”

This unexpected news comes just five days after the MAM released its Renzo Piano-like design by architects Herzog & de Meuron for the museum’s new building.

Riley assumed his Miami post less than four years ago—in March 2006.

UPDATE: The Miami Herald couldn’t reach Riley or museum trustees for further comment, but in its just posted article reporting the news, Daniel Chang does give some background on fundraising difficulties for the planned new museum.

an ArtsJournal blog