Arnold L. Lehman

Arnold L. Lehman

  • Shelby White and Leon Levy Director, Brooklyn Museum

FELLOWSHIP PROJECT

During his fellowship, Arnold will conduct research and consider ways to increase the presence of people of color in leadership roles in the museum profession.

For 18 years, Arnold Lehman has served as director of the Brooklyn Museum, one of the oldest and largest fine arts collections in the nation. His first official act as director was to march in Brooklyn’s West Indian American Day Parade. Since then, he has focused on improving individual visitors’ experiences and animating the community’s engagement with the museum. In the past decade alone, museum attendance has doubled, visitation by people of color has risen to over 40 percent, and the average age of museum visitors has dropped from 55 to 35. Through daring and sometimes controversial exhibitions, imaginative installations of works from the permanent collection, public programs that connect with Brooklyn’s diverse populations, and active support for the borough’s extraordinary artists community, Arnold has helped reimagine the role of museums in 21st- century community life.

Arnold’s unique brand of leadership has been recognized repeatedly in both the museum field and the community at large. Prior to coming to Brooklyn, Arnold was director of the Baltimore Museum of Art for almost two decades and was adjunct professor of the history of art at Johns Hopkins University. He served as president of the Association of Art Museum Directors, was co-chair of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Arts and Culture Transition Committee, and currently chairs the Cultural Institutions Group of New York City.

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