Matthew Teitelbaum leaves Art Gallery of Ontario for Museum of Fine Arts in Boston

Matthew Teitelbaum, the Michael and Sonja Koerner Director and CEO of the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), was recently appointed the Ann and Graham Gund Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA). 

Teitelbaum joined the AGO in 1993 as Chief Curator and became its fifth Director and CEO in 1998, with a vision to transform the Gallery into an imaginative centre that fully reflects and enhances its surrounding community. Under his leadership, the Gallery’s holdings have grown, its audience broadened and its global reputation strengthened.

“In the 17 years that Matthew has been Director and CEO of the AGO, he has been a true leader and friend to many of us as he realized his extraordinary and ambitious vision for the Gallery,” says Maxine Granovsky Gluskin, President of the AGO Board of Trustees. “Matthew will bring his trademark energy and expertise to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and we could not be more proud of him for this tremendous opportunity. On behalf of the AGO’s Board of Trustees, staff and volunteers, I extend our most heartfelt congratulations.”

One of Mr. Teitelbaum’s greatest acheivements was the completion of Transformation AGO in 2008, a landmark expansion project that resulted in a 47 per cent increase in gallery and exhibition space and a complete refurbishment of the building. He was instrumental in securing a $100-million gift from collector and business leader Ken Thomson to complete the Gallery’s $306-million campaign, as well as the donation of the greatest collection of art ever gifted to a Canadian museum. Teitelbaum’s steadfast belief in the power of art to transform lives has led to the creation of several groundbreaking programs and exhibitions that redefined the AGO and its role in the cultural landscape of Toronto and Canada.

“I am most proud to have worked with a remarkable and dedicated Board, staff and volunteers to situate the AGO as a truly civic institution, with international reach, at the service of our citizens,” says Teitelbaum. “The AGO is increasingly a gathering place for the discussion of ideas and the experience of art, offering a sense of community and belonging. Driving our efforts is a deep commitment to showing and celebrating great art by great artists. Our shared accomplishments make this move bittersweet, and I thank everyone who has believed in the AGO and contributed to its success. I am honoured and delighted to join the MFA at this exciting time in its history, and look forward to bringing what I have learned from Toronto and its people to the city of Boston.”

Teitelbaum succeeds Malcolm Rogers, who will retire when Teitelbaum assumes his role at the MFA on August 3, 2015. His last day at the AGO will be June 26, 2015, and the AGO Board of Trustees will commence the search for his successor immediately.

“Matthew has built a strong and dedicated team and has charted an ambitious and clear path forward. He has positioned the AGO well for continued success,” says Granovsky Gluskin. “The Board of Trustees has full confidence that the AGO has a solid foundation for the next Director and CEO to build upon, and we will reach ambitiously for our future.”
Matthew Teitelbaum joined the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) in 1993 as Chief Curator and in 1998 became its fifth Director and CEO. Under Teitelbaum’s leadership, the AGO completed a $306-million transformation in 2008, realized by Toronto-born architect Frank Gehry. Transformation AGO, supported by both the community and the leadership gift of Ken Thomson and his family, resulted in increased and interconnected art-viewing space and more than 2,000 works added to the Gallery’s permanent collection. With new galleries for contemporary, historical European and Canadian art developed, the AGO continues to cultivate new strategies to engage its diverse and growing audiences. The Weston Family Learning Centre, a hub for community creativity and learning, opened in 2011 and serves as a gathering place for hands-on and online exploration of the creative process. Both projects were developed to reflect the AGO’s mission by connecting people with art in new and innovative ways and emphasizing creativity and imagination.
During Teitelbaum’s tenure, the AGO has acquired nearly 60,000 works of art. In addition to the Thomson collections of Canadian and European art, as well as European devotional sculpture, ivories, carvings and historical ship models, which accompanied the family’s monetary support of the AGO’s transformation, Teitelbaum has been instrumental in securing the Murray Frum collection of African art; the Gottlieb collection of prints by James Tissot and Andre Masson; significant collections of photography; the Frick-Eggert Archive of more than 300 works on paper; and major works by such artists as Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cézanne, Maurice Denis, Vincent van Gogh, Rodney Graham, Mona Hatoum, Mike Kelley, Fernand Leger, Gerhardt Richter and Kara Walker.
Prior to joining the AGO, Teitelbaum held curatorial positions with the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon; and the London Regional Art Gallery in London, Ontario.
Teitelbaum is actively involved in national, North American and international visual arts organizations and is a past president of the Association of Art Museum Directors. He is also a member of the Canadian Art Museum Directors’ Organization and The International Group of Organizers of Large Scale Exhibitions. 

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