David Alan Robertson has announced that he will be stepping down as The Ellen Philips Katz Director of the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art effective Dec. 31, 2011.
Robertson has served as the director of the Block Museum and lecturer in art history since August 2002. In 2005 he was named The Ellen Philips Katz Director of the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art.
He is the current president of the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries (AAMG) and co-chair of the AAMG’s national Task Force on University and College Museums. He is also a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors and the American Association of Museums.
During Robertson’s tenure, the Block Museum experienced a period of energetic growth. He has strengthened engagement with the museum among faculty and students from diverse disciplines across the University and increased direct student involvement in the museum and its activities. Under his direction, the museum received accreditation from the American Association of Museums and greatly enhanced its collections. Robertson established the museum’s first Board of Advisors and more than doubled the size of its endowment and operating budget. He also has reinvigorated the Block Cinema program through well-received film series and related student programs. Robertson’s leadership has established the Block as a significant interdisciplinary study center on campus and a vital museum for the Chicago area.
Robertson has published widely in the history of art and the history of museums. He has written a number of exhibition catalogues and published articles in “The Art Bulletin,” UNESCO’s “Museum International,” and “Grove Dictionary of Art.” He also has taught courses ranging from freshman seminars to graduate seminars in art history, often integrating museum collections in his course work. Robertson serves as faculty supervisor for the Art History Department’s internships at the Block and globally.
Robertson previously served as associate director of the University of Chicago’s David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art. Robertson has also held museum directorships at the University of Oregon Museum of Art, Loyola University and Dickinson College.
A search for Robertson’s successor will be launched shortly beginning with the formation of a search committee.