Ken Bloom, director of the Tweed Museum of Art at the University of Minnesota Duluth since 2004, will retire in June. UMD’s School of Fine Arts made the announcement Friday afternoon, noting there will be a nationwide search for a new director.
Bloom will return to his lifelong photography career and continue to offer his accumulated museum and artistic expertise as a freelance curator and consultant.
“The many accomplishments of Bloom’s tenure include his opening of the museum to Native American Arts, and positioning that work as a core component of the museum program,” according to a university news release. “With an eye toward gender and racial inclusivity, he has expanded the museum’s collections in all genres, and the range of that collection to include public art on campus. His drive to update the museum systems include, digitizing the collection to make it accessible for research, and the development of a digital arts program. As well, he championed the overhaul of the museum’s mechanical and electrical systems to improve functionality, air quality, and to provide a safe R/H environment insuring the proper preservation of the museum’s artworks for generations. With the assertion that the Tweed Museum is a cultural and educational gem, Bloom has worked to strengthen the Museum’s community advisory board, to engage students, mentor student interns, and encourage use of the museum with regional K-12 institutions.”
Bloom’s 15 years of directorship brought exhibitions to the Tweed from internationally renowned artists such as Phillip Pearlstein, Louis Gonzalez Palma, Sue Coe, Sylvia Schuster and Cheng-Khee Chee to national and esteemed regional and local artists including Sister Mary Charles, Big Al Carter, Juan Logan, Dyani White Hawk, Rabbett Before Horses, Sharon Louden, Jeffrey Larson, Kathy McTavish and Jonathan Thunder.
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