Director’s Message

It was the summer of Ai Weiwei at the Museum. His Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold sparked imaginations and delighted our many visitors. We are grateful to Bill Miller for lending the work from his private collection and for sponsoring the show. And we are very pleased to continue presenting the works in the Stark Rotunda through the remainder of the year. Also this summer, we installed The Way the Moon’s in Love with the Dark, a spectacular chandelier by Fred Wilson. He began working with Murano glass artists when he represented the United States in the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003. This chandelier was created for the 15th Istanbul Biennial in 2017. The work is remarkably well suited for the Post Entrance Rotunda and offers a powerful new experience when entering the Museum.

Our summer was vital as we continued to cultivate year-round audiences, building on the momentum of last season’s record-breaking crowds for Victorian Radicals: From the Pre-Raphaelites to the Arts and Crafts Movement. Attendance to this exhibition was up 56% year-over-year, and we closed with 5,600 members of the VBMA, an all-time high. Also, our reach was extended regionally (from a small base) with attendance from Orlando up by 98%, Miami up by 288%, and Palm Beach up by 300%. Our Humanities programs were themed for the first time around the exhibition, and they too enjoyed full audiences. These results demonstrate the power of great works of art, related programs, and the importance of robust marketing. This new level of ambition was made possible by the many generous supporters of the museum who provided us with a record level of sponsorship. While we’re delighted in this recent success, we are also focused on sustaining this level of aspiration. Toward that end, last year we launched a planned giving campaign that succeeded in increasing the number of future estate gifts by 38%, a great start to this key endeavor.

These are the underpinnings of our strategic plan published in 2018 (and available on our website). This season will be the critical follow-up as we present back-to-back blockbusters: L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters, followed by the stunning From Homer to Hopper: American Art from the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC.

Once again we will have thematic programming (see the schedule for the International Lecture Series inside) and substantial marketing with the goal of building on what was achieved last season. None of this would be possible without our dedicated staff, and the tremendous support of our patrons and members who help us as we launch to new levels.

We look forward to seeing you at the Museum this fall.

Brady Roberts
Executive Director/ CEO

Director’s Message

Brady Roberts

It was the summer of Ai Weiwei at the Museum. His Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold sparked imaginations and delighted our many visitors. We are grateful to Bill Miller for lending the work from his private collection and for sponsoring the show. And we are very pleased to continue presenting the works in the Stark Rotunda through the remainder of the year. Also this summer, we installed The Way the Moon’s in Love with the Dark, a spectacular chandelier by Fred Wilson. He began working with Murano glass artists when he represented the United States in the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003. This chandelier was created for the 15th Istanbul Biennial in 2017. The work is remarkably well suited for the Post Entrance Rotunda and offers a powerful new experience when entering the Museum.

Our summer was vital as we continued to cultivate year-round audiences, building on the momentum of last season’s record-breaking crowds for Victorian Radicals: From the Pre-Raphaelites to the Arts and Crafts Movement. Attendance to this exhibition was up 56% year-over-year, and we closed with 5,600 members of the VBMA, an all-time high. Also, our reach was extended regionally (from a small base) with attendance from Orlando up by 98%, Miami up by 288%, and Palm Beach up by 300%. Our Humanities programs were themed for the first time around the exhibition, and they too enjoyed full audiences. These results demonstrate the power of great works of art, related programs, and the importance of robust marketing. This new level of ambition was made possible by the many generous supporters of the museum who provided us with a record level of sponsorship. While we’re delighted in this recent success, we are also focused on sustaining this level of aspiration. Toward that end, last year we launched a planned giving campaign that succeeded in increasing the number of future estate gifts by 38%, a great start to this key endeavor.

These are the underpinnings of our strategic plan published in 2018 (and available on our website). This season will be the critical follow-up as we present back-to-back blockbusters: L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters, followed by the stunning From Homer to Hopper: American Art from the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC.

Once again we will have thematic programming (see the schedule for the International Lecture Series inside) and substantial marketing with the goal of building on what was achieved last season. None of this would be possible without our dedicated staff, and the tremendous support of our patrons and members who help us as we launch to new levels.

We look forward to seeing you at the Museum this fall.

Brady Roberts
Executive Director/ CEO