Exit Della Watkins at the Taubman

Della Watkins

My buddy Della Watkins, the third director of the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, has resigned to take a job at the art museum in Columbia, S.C.

I, for one, am sad to see Della go. She is a force and has done a lot of good at a museum that I never thought could make it. It was in turmoil when she came to Roanoke from Richmond’s Museum of Fine Arts. Above that, she is a thoroughly nice, funny, bright person.

She took over for David Mickenburg when he resigned in 2013. She was the third director of the Taubman, which opened in November of 2008. Here’s the Taubman’s press release:

The Taubman Museum of Art Board of Trustees announced today the resignation of Executive Director Della Watkins, effective Sept. 8, 2017.

“The Board is thankful to Della for her leadership, dedication and hard work,” said Leon Harris, chairman of the Board of Trustees. “She represents everything you’d want in a great leader, from savvy business acumen to a kind, caring management style. While we’ll certainly miss her at the helm, we’re fortunate to have a very strong leadership team who will see the Museum through to its next chapter.”

Watkins joined the Taubman Museum of Art in 2013. Under her leadership, the Museum earned reaccreditation from the American Alliance of Museums; completed build-out of the last remaining gallery space that now hosts major national traveling exhibitions; reclaimed financial stability through steady fundraising and aggressive budgeting; and forged new collegial partnerships in Roanoke and beyond to champion the region’s arts and culture community.

“It has been such an honor to serve the Board, staff and our community,” said Watkins. “I am so proud of the steady, positive growth we’ve seen over the past several years. While I’m looking forward to my next position as executive director for the Columbia Museum of Art in South Carolina, a piece of my heart will always be in Roanoke.”

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