Crystal Bridges promotes Don Bacigalupi to president, Rod Bigelow to executive director

Roxy Paine’s “Yield,” a metal sculpture of a tree, stands at the entrance of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.

Flyer photo

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announced promotions in its top leadership positions on Tuesday.

The museum’s board – including chair/founder Alice Walton – promoted executive director Don Bacigalupi to the newly created position of president.

Don Bacigalupi

Rod Bigelow, the museum’s deputy director for operations and administration, replaces Bacigalupi as executive director.

Both promotions are effective immediately, said museum officials in a news release.

“In his newly expanded role, Bacigalupi will serve as a member of the board of directors and will advance the museum’s national and global special initiatives and work closely with the board and staff leadership,” the release stated. “Bigelow will assume oversight for day-to-day operations of the museum.”

Bacigalupi came to Crystal Bridges in 2009 after working for six years as president, director and CEO of the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio.

As for his promotion, Walton said Bacigalupi was in the right place at the right time.

“The success we have enjoyed during the course of the past three years has been directly attributable to (Bacigalupi’s) leadership – in getting the building open and creating a successful inaugural year, surpassing all expectations,” Walton said. “As important, he has created a first-rate and highly effective leadership team, prepared to advance Crystal Bridges’ strategic plan and keep the momentum going into our second year of operation and beyond. In his new role, he is poised to take us to even greater accomplishments.”

Rod Bigelow

Bigelow arrived at Crystal Bridges in 2010. His leadership roles include top jobs at the Toledo Museum of Art and the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington. Bigelow oversees finance, facilities, grounds and trails, IT, security, human resources, plus culinary and retail activities at Crystal Bridges. In his new role, he’ll assume oversight for day-to-day operations of the museum.

“Rod’s leadership in museum operations and his unique experience with Crystal Bridges has earned the board’s trust,” Walton said. “His growth in our organization has readied him for a more senior position at this exciting point in the museum’s development. The board feels these promotions are essential and perfectly timed for the organization.”

In other position news, Sandy Edwards remains on the museum’s executive team as deputy director. Tracy Cude will continue to serve as chief financial officer, reporting to the executive director in addition to serving as project manager for national and global special initiatives, reporting to the president.