Gealt announces retirement as director of IU Art Museum

Distinguished Professor, former NEH chairman Bruce Cole to lead search for successor

  • May 19, 2014


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Adelheid "Heidi" Gealt, director of the Indiana University Art Museum since 1987, has announced her retirement. She will assume the role of director emerita once a new director is chosen.

Bruce Cole, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Art History and Comparative Literature and former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, will chair the search committee to identify candidates for the new director.

"We thank Heidi for her many years of service as director," said Lauren Robel, provost of IU Bloomington and executive vice president. "Her leadership helped the museum grow into one of the nation’s finest university museums and one of Bloomington’s true cultural gems."

The IU Art Museum’s mission is to preserve, exhibit, collect, research, publish and interpret original works of art to advance the academic goals of Indiana University and to enrich the cultural lives and spiritual well-being of society.

Established in 1941, the IU Art Museum is one of the foremost university art museums in the United States. It houses a wide variety of internationally acclaimed collections, including ancient gold jewelry, African masks and paintings by Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso. More than 40,000 objects from nearly every art-producing culture in human history are under the museum’s stewardship.

Cole served as NEH chairman from 2001 to 2009, making him the longest-serving chairman in the organization’s history. President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Citizens Medal in 2008, and President Barack Obama appointed him to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission in 2013.

Beginning in summer 2014, the search committee will launch a national search to identify, recruit and interview candidates for the position of director. Its goal will be to hire a new director who will begin July 1, 2015.

The members of the search committee are:

  • Bruce Cole (chair), Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Art History and Comparative Literature, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Ed Comentale, professor of English, College of Arts and Sciences, interim director of College Arts and Humanities Institute
  • Michelle Facos, professor of art history, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Bernie Frischer, professor of informatics, School of Informatics and Computing
  • Leslie Lenkowsky, professor of practice, School of Public and Environmental Affairs
  • Jawshing Arthur Liou, associate professor of fine art, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Anne-Imelda Radice, director of the American Folk Art Museum
  • Jon Vickers, director of IU Cinema
  • Laurie Woodhouse, executive director of talent management, IU Foundation
  • Diane Woosnam, member of IU Art Museum National Advisory Board
Adelheid "Heidi" Gealt

Adelheid "Heidi" Gealt

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IU Art Museum

IU Art Museum

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Media Contacts

Steve Hinnefeld