Mitch added to the permanent collection

     (AAPNW-OH) – Among their permanent collection, they house works of art ranging in all mediums from artists such as Ansel Adams, Helen Turner, Andy Warhol,  Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, who are all included in a substantial list exceeding 5,000. This year, a new one could be added in a different category, such as Leadership, because after 26 years as director, with one of the longest tenures of any art museum leader in the country, Dr. Mitchell D. Kahan ends his reign at Akron Art Museum on January 2, 2013 and will assume the title of Director Emeritus.

     “Mitchell has brought an impressive record of achievement to the museum’s 90-year history. The Board is immensely grateful for his dedication, foresight, creativity and passion,” praised Fred Bidwell, president of the museum’s Board of Trustees. “His commitment to the cultural arts and the community will have a lasting impact in Akron and Northeast Ohio.”

     AAM has achieved significant institutional growth under Kahan’s leadership: A 25,000 square foot facility to 83,000 square feet; An endowment of just over $2 million to well over $20 million following three endowment campaigns; A collection of 2,000 objects to over 5,000; A staff of 22 to over 50; and a capital campaign that raised $44.8 million surpassing the final goal of $42 million. Most significantly for future generations, Kahan raised almost $5 million in permanent endowment funds for purchases of art; there were no funds for art purchases when he arrived in 1986.

     “The biggest and perhaps most rewarding challenge of my career was working with one of the world’s leading architects, Wolf Prix, on the museum expansion,” said Kahan, who was able to utilize his early training in architectural history and his great love of contemporary design. The John S. and James L. Knight Building received worldwide acclaim when it opened in 2007. It earned a 2008 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) International Award and was a finalist for the prestigious Lubetkin Prize.

     Because of his significant contributions and accomplishments, he has received many prestigious awards including those from the Ohio Museums Association, Cleveland Arts Prize and Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel Center for Nonprofit Management.

     Mitchell will focus on foundation management, arts journalism and making art and continue living in the Akron area with his partner Christopher Hixson.

Published by on August 2012. Filed under At the Museums dept, PaletteBoards Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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