Matt Dawson, a member of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’s senior management team, is leaving the museum on April 12 to pursue other opportunities in the museum field, it was announced Friday.
Executive Director Don Bacigalupi said Dawson will return to Toronto where he has spent the majority of his career.
“As the Museum continues our transition from opening to operational mode, we anticipated there would inevitably be some changes with which to contend. One of those changes will be the departure of Matt Dawson as our deputy director of art and education,” said Bacigalupi in a statement.
Dawson was hired in March 2011 to lead the curatorial, education, collections and library teams. During his tenure at Crystal Bridges, Bacigalupi said he played a central and critical role in the launch of the museum, by planning and executing the inaugural gallery installations, the design and implementation of the Experience Art Studio, and the coordination of the library and art collections’ move into the new facility.
“His leadership, organization, design capabilities and teamwork allowed us to exceed all expectations for our opening,” Bacigalupi said. “Matt’s good humor and presence will be missed at Crystal Bridges, and we wish him and his family all the best in the future. As a part of the Crystal Bridges inaugural team his contributions will remain a part of our foundation.”
Dawson has more than 20 years of experience in architecture and museum management. He came to Crystal Bridges after opening the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix where he had served as senior project manager during the construction phase and then director of public programs and guest experience upon its opening. His work in Toronto included jobs at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Lord Cultural Resources, Cecconi Simone Interior Design and SimEx Iwerks.
“It has been an honor working for this great museum during these twelve months of remarkable change,” Dawson said. “With attendance already passing 250,000, it’s clear that you all have a winner on your hands.”