Katharine Lee Reid has stepped down as director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to become director of the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Reid, 58, who had been director of the Richmond museum since 1991, will serve as a consultant to it until Feb. 24. She takes over as director of the Cleveland museum March 13.

From her new office in Ohio, Reid said her proudest achievement as director of the Virginia museum was expanding its reach into previously neglected constituencies, particularly the African American community.

The museum's membership increased 32 percent during Reid's tenure. She also oversaw an increasing number of major exhibitions, including "Faberge in America" and "Splendors of Ancient Egypt."

For Reid, her new job is a homecoming. She was raised in Cleveland, and her father, Sherman Lee, was the art museum's director from 1958 to 1983. She called the museum a "very rich mix of memories and future possibilities."

The Cleveland facility has more than 600,000 visitors a year and is considered one of the nation's top 10 art galleries. It has full-time staff of 256 compared with 156 at the Virginia museum.

"I'm exhilarated," Reid said. "The museum has been the core experience of my working life and growing up."