May 2014 | Nate Pedersen

Morgan Library Director Heads to Cleveland Museum of Art

William M. Griswold, head of the Morgan Library in New York for the past seven years, has accepted a new position as the director of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Griswold, age 53, will be the 10th director of the museum, starting his new position this fall.

"All told, I've been at the Morgan for 13 years," said Griswold in an interview with The New York Times. Griswold was the head of the Morgan's drawings department for six years before stepping into his current position in 2007, "I'm ready for my last big challenge."

And it will be a big challenge as Griswold steps into a role abruptly vacated by its predecessor, David Franklin, who left in a cloud of controversy. The Cleveland Museum of Art has also just completed an eight-year, $350 million expansion and renovation inclusive of 35,300 square feet of new gallery space. With a $750m endowment and an encyclopedic collection covering a vast array of objects and time periods, the directorship of the museum will be an incredible opportunity for Griswold, who has also worked for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Getty and headed the the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for two years.

The president of the Morgan's board, Lawrence R. Ricciardi, was "suprised," but "not toally shocked" by Griswold's resignation.  Riccardi continued, "We are going to move quickly to set up a search committee and an interim director," adding that the primary challenge for the new director is "continuing to bring new people to the Morgan with creative programming and a vibrant exhibition schedule."

Below is a video statement from Griswold about his new position:

Meet Bill Griswold, the Cleveland Museum of Art's tenth director from Cleveland Museum of Art on Vimeo.