Stephanie Stebich

Smithsonian American Art Museum Appoints Stephanie Stebich as Director

Peggy McGlone reports in the Washington Post that Stephanie Stebich will be director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Stebich, who currently holds the directorial role at Tacoma Art Museum, will succeed Elizabeth “Betsy” Broun, who retired last year after serving at the Smithsonian since 1989. Stebich will start her new post on April 3.

Stebich has headed Washington’s Tacoma Art Museum since 2005. During her twelve-year tenure, she oversaw a renovation that doubled the museum’s exhibition space, added 2,000 items to its 4,500-piece collection, and raised $37 million for a capital campaign that originally only had a goal of $17 million. “Art AIDS America,” which was met with some controversy, and “Edvard Munch and the Sea” were among the more than 100 exhibitions that opened during at the museum while she was there. Her appointment came the day after President Trump’s hiring freeze for federal workers, and a week after members of his administration discussed the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts along with the National Endowment for the Humanities. Stebich’s salary, however, will come from nonfederal funds.

Prior to serving at the Tacoma Art Museum, Stebich worked at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Cleveland Museum of Art, and was a fellow at the Guggenheim Museum. She serves as a trustee of the Association of Art Museum Directors and the American Alliance of Museums.