This is my last message to you as director of the Harvard Art Museums. After nearly twelve years in this position, I will step down on July 1, 2015.
I am thrilled at what the staff has achieved—fundamentally reinventing the Harvard Art Museums while still carrying on our proud history and legacy—and am also aware that this exhilarating and challenging period for us as an institution will soon give way to a different phase under a new director.
What has taken place over the last decade is because of the hard work, vision, and sacrifice of many individuals who recognized the need for change and the value of working together toward a common goal. The result is a new model for what a teaching museum can be in the 21st century, an institution closely linked to the curricular and cognitive life of Harvard University. Our new facility, uniting the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler Museums under one roof, gives us a multidimensional platform to bring our great collections together with students, faculty, and the public.
The future here will be bright and alive with possibilities, and it will rest largely on the talents and dedication of this extraordinary staff. While the search is under way for my successor, the museums will be in the very capable hands of deputy director Maureen Donovan and chief curator Debi Kao, who will serve jointly as interim co-directors. Both of them have displayed true vision and leadership during their long careers here.
I want to thank the countless friends, colleagues, visitors, students, and faculty for their friendship and many contributions during my tenure. It has been a privilege and honor to serve as director of the Harvard Art Museums, and it is the individuals who made this new future possible that I will miss above all.Thomas W. Lentz
Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director