The board of trustees of Tacoma’s Museum of Glass has named Susan Warner as the museum’s new executive director and curator, beginning today. The move comes just two months after the resignation of former director Tim Close, who cited a need for a change in leadership as his reason for leaving. Warner, who has worked for the museum since 2001, has served as interim director since Close resigned in January after five years of leadership.
“We are very pleased that Susan has agreed to step into the role of Museum of Glass director,” comments board chair Steve Loeb in a press release. “Susan knows the institution better than anyone and she is the ideal candidate to lead the organization as we enter into our second decade of service. She has continually demonstrated her ability to inspire and engage Museum visitors, supporters, artists and staff during her tenure at the museum, and the Board is confident that she is the best person to move the institution forward.”
Warner joined the museum in February, 2001, 17 months before the internationally-known glass institution opened its doors to the public. First as education director, then as director of public programs, deputy director (2009) and most recently curator (2011), the Tanzanian-born Warner has a background in curatorial work, with art history and education degrees from Southampton University in England and Antioch University in Seattle. She has worked in art and education fields at the Seattle Children’s Museum, State Capital Museum in Olympia and Dayton Art Institute.
“I am truly honored to assume the role of executive director and thank the board of trustees and the community for all their incredible support over the years,” Warner said in the press release. “In this, our tenth year, we are excited to begin the process of strategizing our next decade of service in dialogue with our local, national and international audiences and constituents.”
Warner faces a few challenges at the museum, which has seen attendance numbers drop from 163,000 in 2006-07 to 151,000 in 2010-11. Unlike other art institutions such as the Tacoma Art Museum, MoG has no endowment, relying on donors and admissions for its budget.
Loeb said that the board is “in the process of reassessing the internal organizational structure at this time” to reassign Warner’s responsibilities.