Everson Announces Elizabeth Dunbar as New Executive Director

October 23, 2014

The Everson Museum of Art is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Dunbar will be assuming the position of Executive Director by January 1, 2015. Dunbar was selected after an eight-month long search led by Gary Grossman, Everson Museum of Art Board President, and a committee of Everson Trustees.

Dunbar has nearly 15 years’ museum senior management experience. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of DiverseWorks in Houston, Texas, where she led an institutional turnaround by articulating a new vision, stabilizing and enhancing finances, and galvanizing community support. Prior to her position at DiverseWorks, Dunbar served as the Associate Director of Arthouse (now the Contemporary Austin) in Austin, Texas. Dunbar has also held curatorial positions at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City.

“We look forward to Elizabeth joining us at the Everson, and leading us in making significant strides toward the Museum’s major goals,” said Grossman. “Elizabeth brings to the Everson diverse experience in exhibition development and community engagement, and exciting strategies to keep museums relevant in a changing world, which will help redefine the Everson’s reputation as a community art museum of international note.”

Dunbar comes to the Everson at a time of great opportunity. Since the beginning of 2014, the Everson Board and staff have worked to successfully overcome fiscal challenges, and the Museum is now poised for future growth and new vision. “The Everson is one of the country’s great art institutions and I am deeply honored to join it as it embarks on its exciting next chapter,” said Dunbar. “I am eager to get started and help make the museum an even more vital and inspirational force in the life of the city and the lives of its residents.”

Dunbar replaces Steven Kern, who served the museum as Executive Director for five years and ushered in successes through annual traveling exhibitions such as “Turner to Cezanne” in 2009 to “The Art of Video Games” in 2013. Kern left the Everson in early 2014 to assume the position of Director and CEO of the Newark Museum in New Jersey.

“Elizabeth Dunbar will be the tenth director of the Everson in its over 100 year history,” said Grossman. “It is with great excitement and enthusiasm that we anticipate the vision Elizabeth will bring to this treasured institution.”


The Everson Museum of Art, whose roots extend to 1897, is internationally recognized for its extensive and significant collection of ceramics, its pioneering art video collection and its distinctive structural design by the noted architect I.M. Pei.  As the first museum devoted to collecting American art, the Everson uses this focus to make possible direct encounters with all art through its collections, exhibitions, scholarship, and educational programs. 

The operation of the Everson Museum of Art is made possible with funding from the Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman Foundation, Syracuse University, County of Onondaga administered by CNY Arts, the Central New York Community Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, the Everson Board of Trustees and Everson Members' Council.


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