Angelica Rudenstine Retirement Announcement
May 12, 2009
Don M. Randel, President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, announced today that Angelica Zander Rudenstine, will retire from her position as Program Officer for Museums and Art Conservation in March 2010. First as Senior Advisor and since 2001 as Program Officer, Mrs. Rudenstine has been responsible for the Foundation’s grantmaking in this program since 1993. In a letter to directors of major art museums and leaders in the fields of art history and art conservation, Randel praised Rudenstine for her extraordinarily effective leadership. “She has,” he wrote, “already left a series of indelible marks on the world of museums and art conservation, among them the strengthening of curatorial and scholarly capacity at both senior and junior levels; the deepening of the academic engagement of college and university art museums; the identification of needs in the field of photographic conservation and the creation of programs to meet those needs; the development of science within art conservation, bringing to bear the highest level of scientific expertise; the strengthening of advanced conservation training programs, and the creation and support of positions for conservators in a wide range of institutions.” Evoking warmly Mrs. Rudenstine’s legendary capacity to bring together museum professionals, conservators, scientists, and academic art historians in productive collaborations, Randel asserted the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to her legacy of distinguished stewardship, marked by active engagement with grantees, steadfast support for the curatorial mission of the nation’s finest art museums, and advocacy for the highest standards and important innovations in art conservation.
In the coming ten months, Mrs. Rudenstine will continue to be fully engaged in pursuing current and emerging initiatives. Among these, she and her colleagues have launched pilot projects with a number of institutions in the United States and Europe. The primary goal of these efforts is to explore collaborative methodologies for online scholarly research that would integrate conservation, scientific, archival, and art historical information in digital form with innovative presentation tools for both text and images, making the documentation freely available to the scholarly community and to the broader public. The Program has also launched a new round of grants to outstanding campus-based museums, building upon an earlier ten-year program of awards that helped such museums to integrate their collections more deeply with the academic curricula across all disciplines within their institutions. Mrs. Rudenstine will continue to devote attention to the needs of cultural institutions that are experiencing severe endowment losses during the current recession. In addition, she will assist Officers of the Foundation as they enter conversations with representatives of relevant institutions supported by her program, prior to launching a search for her successor.