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Judith Hansen O’Toole.
Judith Hansen O’Toole.

Judith Hansen O’Toole Appointed Interim Executive Director of the Frick Pittsburgh

The Frick Pittsburgh has announced that Judith Hansen O’Toole will join the institution as its new interim executive director. Outgoing director Robin Nicholson, who joined the Frick in September 2014, will depart next month to become head of the Telfair Museums in Savannah, Georgia. O’Toole will officially assume her position on February 1.

“We are very fortunate to have Judy's leadership while the search committee works to identify the right long-term leader for the Frick Pittsburgh,” says Chip Burke, chair of the board of trustees. “Her depth of experience will be an invaluable asset as we continue to advance our mission and build an even stronger institution.”

O’Toole currently serves as acting director of the Mattress Factory, a contemporary art museum on Pittsburgh’s North Side. She assumed the position after its executive director Michael Olijnyk was placed on temporary paid leave in September 2018, following allegations that the institution had mishandled cases of sexual harassment. The Mattress Factory has since settled with several current and former employees and pledged to implement new policies and procedures that will help the museum “provide a safe and successful environment” for its staff. While her contract with the Mattress Factory expires at the end of the month, O’Toole said that she would remain involved with the museum until it finds her replacement.

An expert in nineteenth- and twentieth-century American art, O’Toole previously served as director and CEO of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, for twenty-five years; as director of Sordoni Art Gallery in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; and as associate professor in the art department at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.