Kemper art museum director resigns - Kansas City, MO
Kemper art museum director resigns
By TIM ENGLE
Kansas City Star
Rachael Blackburn Cozad, director of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art for 11 of its 18 years, has resigned, the museum confirmed Friday.
Cozad was unavailable for comment, a museum spokeswoman said. She was not on hand Friday evening for the opening reception and dinner for “Lois Dodd: Catching the Light,” the Kemper’s summer exhibition.
But she told public radio station KCUR that the decision to leave “was just good timing for me. And I’ve had a number of other things that I’ve been wanting to do.” She would not elaborate on her plans.
Five other Kemper staff members have reportedly left their jobs in recent weeks. Museum spokeswoman Margaret Keough, busy with the opening Friday night, did not immediately respond to an emailed question about those staffers’ departures.
“With the director’s resignation, the museum’s Board of Trustees has taken this as an opportunity to restructure institutional priorities and staffing,” the museum said in a statement.
The museum will soon begin the search for a new leader, Kemper founder and chairman of the board Crosby Kemper said in the statement.
Cozad came to the Kemper in 2001 after working as executive director of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation in Los Angeles, known primarily for organizing and circulating exhibitions of the work of sculptor Auguste Rodin. She joined the Cantor Foundation as a curator in 1994. She had previously spent a year at the California Center for the Arts in San Diego and, before that, 10 years at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
The biography on Cozad’s LinkedIn page says she has curated exhibitions for major museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
In the statement announcing her resignation, the Kemper said that under Cozad’s tenure the museum expanded gallery space in the main building at 4420 Warwick Blvd. and opened two other spaces, Kemper at the Crossroads and Kemper East. She started the museum’s Corporate Council and Collectors Forum membership groups and led a museum collaboration with DST Systems to place outdoor sculptures downtown.