The Grace Museum director to leave in June

The Grace Museum director to leave in June

Abilene, TX – Patty McMahan, Board Chair of The Grace Museum, informed the Museum’s Board of Directors this afternoon that Dennis Kois, Director since 2006, will be leaving the Museum in June. Kois, who came to the Grace from the Smithsonian, informed the Board that he has accepted the Directorship of the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park outside of Boston, Massachusetts.“Dennis has brought wonderful insight,{{more}} professionalism, and vision to The Grace,” McMahan said. “While we hate to see him go, we are most grateful and excited about the course he has helped the Board and staff set for The Grace. His competence and expertise have directed The Grace to a new level in our growth and development which we intend to carry forth into the future.” “I’ve truly been honored to be a part of the life of the Grace, and of Abilene.” Kois said. “This departure comes much sooner than I’d planned, however, with more than 40 museums across the country looking for new directors, there is intense competition and I was approached about an opportunity that was simply too unique to pass up.”Since Kois’ arrival in November 2006, attendance has been up nearly 10 percent over prior years, as the Museum has played host to a number of well-regarded exhibitions, including one of painter David Bates and the currently on-view exhibition of contemporary photography, Picturing Eden. The Grace also forged new connections and partnerships across the State of Texas, and under Kois’ leadership renovated the Children’s Museum and created a new 4,500 s/f Education Center.“We are working hard to ensure that the exhibits and projects on the Grace’s schedule — including exhibitions of James Surls, Helen Altman, and the largest-ever show of Texas modernist painting for our centenary in 2009 — continue to inspire and engage audiences in Abilene and across Texas,” said McMahan. “A search will begin immediately for the new executive director with the establishment of a Search Committee. The Grace’s success is both a blessing and a curse — we are able to attract talented leadership, but our success means we’re in competition on a national stage to retain them in a difficult market.”“Everyone associated with the Museum has been wonderful to work with, and The Grace is an incredible community resource” Kois noted. “I doubt I’ll ever have the opportunity to work at another institution so closely tied to, and supported by, its community. It is so rare that a city the size of Abilene has a museum of the quality of the Grace, and I know it will continue to thrive and grow” he added.The Grace has an annual budget of one million dollars, a staff of 14, and hosted nearly 60,000 visitors in 2007. The DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park has a five million dollar budget, a staff of thirty-seven, visitation of 140,000 and an art school attended by 4,000 students per year.The Grace Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every Thursday. Admission is free Thursday evening after 5 p.m.For more information, call 325-673-4587.