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Timothy Rub. Photo: Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Timothy Rub. Photo: Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Timothy Rub to Depart as Director of Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has announced that Timothy Rub will step down as director and chief executive of the institution on January 30, 2022. No successor has yet been named for Rub, who led the museum for thirteen years, but the board of trustees is expected to launch a search shortly. The announcement comes as the museum, like many of its counterparts nationwide, contends with an employee push to unionize, and after Rub was forced to apologize to staff in the wake of the museum’s mishandling of harassment complaints made against Joshua Helmer, who previously worked as assistant director for interpretation at the institution. Following that dustup, Leslie Anne Miller, chair of the museum’s board of trustees, promised a “cultural assessment” of its workplace.

“Timothy’s tenure has been one of major accomplishment, and it has been characterized by meeting major challenges head on,” said Miller on the occasion of Rub’s resignation, adding, “His leadership has been essential to the completion of the Core Project and in the remarkable progress we have made in fulfilling the goals of the largest capital campaign undertaken in the history of this institution.”

Under Rub’s leadership, the museum expanded its reach to gain a broader, more diversified audience. Rub also oversaw the completion this past spring of the museum’s four-year, Frank Gehry–led renovation and expansion; costing $233 million, the project gave the museum ninety thousand square feet of new gallery space while sensitively responding to its original 1928 Beaux-Arts architecture and was widely lauded upon its presentation to the public.

“It has been a great honor to serve as the director of one of this country’s finest art museums and to play a role in strengthening its collections and programs as well as renewing our landmark main building to make it ready for another century of service to the community,” said Rub. The sixty-nine-year-old scholar of modern art and architecture revealed to the Philadelphia Inquirer that he is resigning in order to pursue writing and research projects that he has put off, and to spend time with his family.