Letter from James K. Outland

Dear Supporter,

On Thursday, March 16, Gail Andrews announced plans to retire from the Birmingham Museum of Art after twenty years as director.

For more than forty years, Gail has been a tireless advocate for the arts in Birmingham and the state of Alabama. Her remarkable knowledge and passion for art is matched only by her drive to enhance the lives of others; and her contributions to our institution, our community, and the museum field at large are immeasurable. Under Gail’s leadership, the Birmingham Museum of Art has strategically developed a vast and distinguished collection, establishing itself not only as one of the most outstanding art museums in the Southeast, but also as a critical resource for arts education in our region. Gail’s legacy will remain apparent through the phenomenal works that hang on the Museum walls, and her impact will continue to enrich lives in our community for generations to come.

Gail has primed the Museum for new leadership, having recently completed a comprehensive strategic plan which outlines institutional goals and objectives. Following a directive of the plan, the Museum Board formed a Succession Planning Committee to prepare for the transition in leadership. The Committee decided to undertake a national search for the next director and after interviewing several firms, has selected Russell Reynolds for this task.

Russell Reynolds is a national executive firm with several areas of expertise including the placement of senior level positions in not-for-profit/cultural organizations. Their recent work includes the directorships of the High Museum, Baltimore Museum and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Moving forward, they will confer with board and staff as they develop an institutional background statement and job description. The search is expected to take 4-6 months, and Gail Andrews will remain in place until a new director is selected.

I plan to keep our patrons informed as the search progresses, and I look forward to leading the Museum into this exciting next chapter.

Thank you,

James K. Outland
Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Birmingham Museum of Art