Ghislain d’Humières will be the new chief executive of the Speed Art Museum, the museum announced Tuesday morning during a news conference at its temporary East Market Street offices.
He is replacing Charles Venable, who left the Speed to helm the Indianapolis Museum of Art last October.
D’Humières is leaving the University of Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, where he has served as director and chief curator since 2007. He also served on faculty at the university as the Wylodean and Bill Saxon Chair and as an associate professor.
The Speed Museum recently broke ground on its $50 million, three-year construction phase, so d’Humières’ experience steering a museum during an expansion project is of immediate interest. Under his direction, the Fred Jones Jr. completed in 2011 a two-year, $13 million renovation that included a centerpiece staircase and an expansion to house an acquired Western American and Native American art collection, which doubled the museum’s gallery space to roughly 40,000 square feet. The Fred Jones Jr. remained open during construction with active programming.
D’Humières, a native of France, is a former assistant director at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. He has also held positions at the Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas, Sotheby’s in London, New York and Los Angeles, and Christie’s Auction House in Los Angeles. D’Humières is a graduate of the Sorbonne in Paris and moved to the United States in 1995.
In a TEDxOU talk last year, d’Humières spoke about his passion for education and intergenerational wisdom exchange. Here’s the video from 2012: