The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, has announced that director Earl “Rusty” Powell will retire in 2019, after more than twenty-five years at the museum. Powell is the institution’s longest-serving director, and only its fourth in its seventy-six-year history.
Under Powell’s leadership, the National Gallery expanded both its West and East buildings, added the sculpture garden, grew its permanent collection, successfully completed numerous fundraising campaigns, and increased its public education initiatives.
“Thanks to the trustees of the National Gallery of Art, I have been privileged to helm a period of extraordinary growth,” Powell said. “For several years I had the honor of working closely with Paul Mellon, whose unparalleled contributions to the Gallery and the nation’s cultural life live on in infinite ways. I also wish to acknowledge with gratitude all of the Gallery’s trustees past and present and to express my profound appreciation for the service of the Gallery’s presidents with whom I am honored to have worked closely: Bob Smith, Vicki Sant, and now Rick Beinecke. Their leadership, support, and friendship have made my years as director a true pleasure.”