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Robert A. Kret Joins Georgia O’Keeffe Museum As Its New Director

The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum has appointed Robert A. Kret as its new director. Effective October 26, Kret becomes the museum’s third director since its inception in 1997, and succeeds George King, who departed July 31 after serving in the position for 11 years.

Kret comes to the Santa Fe-based museum after serving as the director of the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, Tenn. As director, he will be responsible for providing overall leadership and guidance for the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum’s programs and serving as liaison between the staff and board of directors.

Kret brings over 25 years of museum leadership experience to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Under his guidance at the Hunter Museum, the operating budget, the number of staff and total visitation doubled. That museum has also seen significant progress in changing the audience to better reflect the diversity of the Chattanooga community.

While at the Hunter, Kret led the expansion and renovation of the museum that earned numerous design awards and national acclaim. The building was designed by architect Randall Stout as part of Chattanooga’s 21st Century Waterfront Plan. He played an active role in the development of the Normal Park Museum Magnet School and is a strong advocate for the role of museums as partners in the education community. He also excels at developing and encouraging partnerships and collaborations. In partnership with the Tennessee Aquarium and the Creative Discovery Museum, the Hunter was recently recognized by the Lodestar Foundation as one of the best non-profit collaborations in the country.

Prior to serving at the Hunter Museum since 2000, Kret was director at the Miami University Art Museum in Oxford, Ohio, and the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wis. He was executive director of the Ella Sharp Museum in Jackson, Mich., and director of museums for the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities.

Kret began his career in museums in the 1980s at the Henry Ford Museum while an undergraduate at the University of Detroit. Holding a masters degree in museum studies from the State University of New York, Oneonta, he has served on numerous local and regional boards and is active with professional organizations such as the Association of Art Museum Directors and the American Association of Museums.
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