David Brenneman prepares to be the new IU Art Museum director


David A. Brenneman will begin his title as the new IU Art Museum Director for the museum in July. Courtesy Photo and Courtesy Photo

Starting in July, there will be a new director of the IU Art ?Museum.

David Brenneman was announced as the new director of the museum in April, after Adelheid Gealt said she would be stepping down. Brenneman is set to start working at the museum ?July 1.

Brenneman is currently the director of collections and exhibitions at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. According to a press release, he has worked in the art museum field for more than 20 years.

“I have done just about everything that you can do as a curator and as an administrator of the Atlanta Museum,” Brenneman said. “I’ve organized major international exhibitions and private collections and purchased major works of art. I have a terrific editorial team who have projected great exhibition projects. I’ve nearly done it all.”

In preparation for his new position, Brenneman said he is planning on increasing the profile of the museum and getting its name out beyond Bloomington. He said he is also thinking about rebuilding and updating the building itself, in order to make the pieces shine more.

“My broader goal is getting the collections out into the world and increasing the profile of the museum,” Brenneman said. “I think that another goal that I’m interested in is community engagement. I want to engage with younger generations, and I want to see the museum as a laboratory and for it to be relevant.”

When he researched and visited the IU Art Museum, Brenneman said he loved the displays and collections the museum has. As the new director, he wants to get the collections out into the world and let people know what a treasure the museum is.

“The IU Art Museum really is an amazing place with the astonishingly great collections and paintings they have,” Brenneman said. “I think the museum is a treasure house, and while it is known by professionals, I don’t think it is as well-known as it should be. I want to continue the good work by getting the collections out to the world virtually or through exhibitors.”

Art has been a part of Brenneman’s life since he was an infant. He said he felt a connection with art early in his life and that art is something all people should ?experience.

“I always felt that art is something that I would have a lot less of a life without, so I feel it is important to who I am and it makes me think in ways I haven’t thought about before,” Brenneman said. “Art reminds us of the great things we love. It is something we need to cherish, promote and take care of.”

Brenneman and his wife Ruth are excited to come to Bloomington and engage with the University and community, he said.

“It’s going to be a real great adventure for me and my wife Ruth when we come to Bloomington,” Brenneman said. “We love the idea of engaging with universities and the community. We don’t know Indiana very well, but we look forward to coming to Bloomington.”

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