Women's Museum Chief Resigns; No Reason Given

By Jacqueline Trescott
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 6, 2007

Judy L. Larson, director of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, has resigned her post, according to the museum.

Larson, one of the museum's longest-serving directors, took the helm of the museum in September 2002.

"She resigned last Friday and we accepted her resignation," Mary Mochary, the president of the museum's board, said. Mochary declined to discuss any circumstances of Larson's departure. "I can't say what was going on," Mochary said.

Efforts to reach Larson by e-mail were unsuccessful.

Deputy Director Susan Sterling will be acting director, according to the museum.

Under Larson, the museum completed a $25 million endowment campaign and celebrated its 20th anniversary. It currently has a show celebrating the centennial of Frida Kahlo, the influential 20th-century Mexican artist, and is hosting a major feminist exhibition later this month.

The museum opened in 1987 under the leadership of founder Wilhelmina Cole Holladay, now board chairman, in a landmark building at 12th Street and New York Avenue NW. It has had 10 directors since its founding and has fought for a more visible perch among its artistic neighbors, such as the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian Institution art museums.

Larson came to the museum from the Art Museum of Western Virginia in Roanoke, where she worked for four years as director. Previously, she was the curator of American art at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. She has a doctorate from Emory University and an undergraduate and master's degree from the University of California at Los Angeles.

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