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Saint Louis Art Museum names Min Jung Kim as its new director

Kim brings nearly 30 years of experience to the Saint Louis Art Museum
Credit: SLBJ

ST. LOUIS — The Saint Louis Art Museum on Tuesday named Min Jung Kim as its new director, the 11th person and first woman to lead the museum in its 142-year history.

She'll succeed current Director Brent Benjamin, who announced last fall that he planned to retire. Following his retirement June 30, Carolyn Schmidt, deputy director and controller for the museum, will be interim director until Kim takes her post later this summer, officials said.

Kim, who brings nearly 30 years of experience to the Saint Louis Art Museum, currently is director and CEO of the New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut, one of the nation's oldest museums of American Art. In that post, she worked to enhance the museum's profile through exhibitions and collection development intended to expand the definition of American art and reflect greater diversity, officials said.

Her prior posts include more than a decade at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, where she served as director of content alliances, managing collaboration among the Guggenheim sister museums; the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia; and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

Kim also had served as deputy director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, where she led completion of the new Zaha Hadid-designed MSU Broad Art Museum, which opened in November 2012.

Born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, Kim holds a bachelor's degree in art history from Wheaton College in Massachusetts and master’s in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London. She recently was appointed chairman of the Connecticut Arts Council by Gov. Ned Lamont, and she serves on the boards of Hartford Healthcare; the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; the New England Foundation for the Arts; and the American Foundation for the Courtauld Institute of Art, where she was past president. 

Kim was selected after a search that included recommendations from a four-month "listening project" with input from museum, St. Louis community and art institution leaders, officials said.

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