Cummer Museum Announces Selection of the George W. and Kathleen I. Gibbs Director and Chief Executive Officer

Adam M. Levine, Ph.D. appointed to lead the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — After a deliberative 18-month national search, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is pleased to announce the appointment of Adam M. Levine, Ph.D. as the institution’s first George W. and Kathleen I. Gibbs Director and Chief Executive Officer. 

Levine, who is currently the deputy director and curator of ancient art for the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA), will begin his new role in January 2019. In the interim, he will consult with the Museum’s current leadership and serve as director designate as he relocates to Jacksonville.

"The board’s vision was to find a leader to advance the Cummer Museum’s mission of engaging and inspiring through the arts, gardens, and education," said Ricardo "Rick" Morales, III, chair of the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens Board of Trustees. "Adam is a leader in the arts who has unique abilities to enhance our collections and exhibitions, broaden already strong community engagement, and ensure that Mrs. Cummer’s vision of a ‘museum for all of the people of Jacksonville’ is realized."

Holly Keris, who has served as acting director during the search process, will return to her position as Chief Curator and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Cummer Museum when Levine joins full-time. "Holly has been a valuable and instrumental leader during this time of transition for the organization, and the board is forever thankful for her ongoing commitment to the Cummer Museum," said Morales.  

Adam M. Levine

Dr. Levine, who has more than 10 years of management and curating experience in leading arts institutions and museums in America, joined the Toledo Museum of Art as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow before being appointed assistant director. He was promoted to associate director and then deputy director, all the while acting as the curator of the Museum’s important collection of ancient art. From 2011 to 2013, he was a collections management assistant in the Greek and Roman Art Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. In 2009, he cofounded Art Research Technologies in New York City and served as CEO until 2012; the company was sold to a London-based finance firm in 2016. He also has consulted extensively for national and international museums, universities, and think tanks. TMA, founded in 1901, has more than 20,000 artworks in its collection, an annual budget of nearly $16 million and received over 400,000 visitors last year.

"When I visited the Cummer Museum, I was overwhelmed by its potential," said Levine. "The seasoned staff, the magnificent gardens, the strong collection, and the supportive board all suggested the Museum could become a truly special institution. What enthused me about this opportunity in particular, is the civic pride Jacksonville residents feel for their city and the aspirations they shared for Northeast Florida. I cannot wait to build an institution that offers world-class artistic, programmatic, and educational offerings that are broadly relevant and engage the entire community."

Other Board services/positions held by Levine include work with the Archaeological Institute of America - Toledo Society, the Rocket Innovations Venture Fund (University of Toledo), Ohio Citizens for the Arts, and the Association of Art Museum Curators Governance & Nominating Committee. 

Levine earned his Bachelor of Arts degrees at Dartmouth College in 2008, where he triple-majored in anthropology, art history, and mathematics and social sciences. He was named a Rhodes Scholar in 2012 and earned a Master of Studies and Doctor of Philosophy in the History of Art from Oxford University. Levine has published and presented widely and has enjoyed fellowships/residencies at the American Numismatic Society and the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy.

The Cummer Museum’s diverse search committee included current and past trustees and community partners. Co-chaired by Martha Baker and William H. "Billy" Morris, the committee included Nancy Chartrand, John W. Donahoo III, Jim Draper, Cindy Edelman, Dustin Harewood, James Richardson, II, and Frank Watson. Morales and immediate board past chairman, Ryan Schwartz, served as ex-officio members.  

"Our national search provided an array of strong candidates and the selection was highly competitive," said Baker. "From the outset, we envisioned a candidate with deep knowledge of art, experience in management, and someone who would ensure the Cummer Museum and community it serves are inseparable. That is Dr. Levine."

The George W. and Kathleen I. Gibbs Director and Chief Executive Officer position is endowed through a gift made in 2017 of $4 million from The Disosway Foundation of New York. The foundation was established by Dudley D. Johnson, a current Cummer Museum trustee whose grandfather, George W. Gibbs, influenced the development of Jacksonville during the first half of the 20th century. Gibbs was an inventor and pioneer shipbuilder who founded the Gibbs Gas Engine Company which became the Gibbs Corporation. Gibbs is noted for championing the building of the Main Street Bridge connecting downtown to the Southbank of Jacksonville. The director position is named in honor of George and his wife Kathleen Maria Ingraham Gibbs, who is credited with being his bulwark and confidant throughout their 57-year marriage. Proceeds from the endowment fund the director position in perpetuity and additional funds the endowment raises in its future growth are earmarked for Cummer Museum operations and programs.  

Levine will work closely with the Museum’s Board of Trustees to enhance its strategic goals and objectives, develop a campus master plan, and grow its collections, gardens, and programs reaching all parts of the Jacksonville community as well as attracting visitors to Northeast Florida. He will also be the chief fundraiser for the Cummer Museum and an active leader in the community.

About the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens:  For more than 50 years, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens has been committed to engaging and inspiring through the arts, gardens, and education. A permanent collection of more than 5,000 objects and historic gardens on a riverfront campus offers nearly 150,000 annual visitors a truly unique experience on the First Coast. Nationally recognized education programs serve adults and children of all abilities.