The Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg announced Thursday that CEO and Executive Director Kristen A. Shepherd has resigned. A press release making the announcement said Shepherd’s resignation was accepted in July by Dimity Carlson, chairman of the museum’s board of trustees.
The announcement did not include any future plans for Shepherd, other than a quote from her saying she would be taking a “brief break this summer.”
The Tampa Bay Times reached out to the museum Friday for more details about Shepherd’s resignation. Darcy Schuller, director of marketing and communications, confirmed in an email exchange that Shepherd has resigned and is “moving on to his next chapter.”
“We are grateful for Kristen’s dedication and vision over the past five and a half years,” Carlson said in the release. “She led the MFA through the challenges of the pandemic, as well as through a period of substantial growth. Kristen also facilitated acclaimed exhibitions and important loans and accessions. In addition, she put a strong team in place to continue to advance the museum.
Shepherd joined the museum in 2016 and was the museum’s first female director and its sixth since it opened in 1965. During her tenure, she oversaw the renovation of the museum’s permanent collection galleries, he fostered a collaboration with Art Bridges Foundation and key works were added. to the museum collection.
“I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished together over the past five and a half years,” Shepherd said in the release. “We faced an unprecedented global pandemic that was a challenge for all institutions. I am leaving at a good time, with a talented team in place.”
The board of trustees has already taken steps to find the next director, Schuller said.
The announcement said that “an executive committee of key board members in close collaboration with museum leadership is in place to guide the museum during the interim period before the next director comes on board.”