Albany Museum of Art announces new leader

Andrew James Wulf was named the new executive director of the Albany Museum of Art.
Andrew James Wulf was named the new executive director of the Albany Museum of Art.(Source: Albany Museum of Art)
Published: Sep. 24, 2019 at 10:12 AM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The Albany Museum of Art (AMA) Board of Trustees announced Monday that Dr. Andrew James Wulf, of Santa Fe, N.M., has been named executive director of the museum.

Wulf, who was selected after the AMA conducted a national search, will assume the position in early October and is expected to attend the museum’s major fall fundraising event, AMA ChalkFest, on Oct. 5.

He succeeds Paula Williams, who retired June 30 after serving five years as executive director.

Jack Davis, AMA Board of Trustees president, said he is pleased that Wulf will be leading the museum, which is in the early stages of the move to its new home in downtown Albany.

“We have a tremendous opportunity in front of us, and Dr. Wulf has the expertise, passion and experience to lead us through this next chapter,” Davis said. “Just as importantly, Andrew values family and people, and he will connect with Albany, Georgia.”

Wulf, who most recently served as executive director of the New Mexico History Museum and the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, thanked Davis and the board for the appointment. He said he is looking forward to the opportunity to lead the museum during a transformational period.

“I see the AMA, now and in the future, as a beacon for modern and contemporary art, and for African art—not only for Georgia but for the world,” he said. “I think there is an extremely bright future for the AMA and I am deeply humbled to be steering this extraordinary institution down that road.

“I’ve been delighted to visit Albany and I can’t wait to start this new adventure, working with a marvelous museum and its wonderful staff and board. It’s really a dream come true for me to return to my art museum roots at such a special institution that has done so much promising work.”

Wulf served at the New Mexico History Museum and the Palace of the Governors, a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, in Santa Fe, from 2015-2019. Prior to that, he was supervisory museum curator for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, a division of the U.S. National Archives, from 2010-2015.

“I think Albany is a beautiful town,” Wulf said. “It’s certainly a new experience for my family and me to move to the Deep South. We’re looking forward to it quite eagerly.”

He said his wife, Amparo, and their daughter “have already fallen in love with Albany and the South. We’re all very much looking forward to making it our new home.”

Wulf said he is especially excited to lead the AMA at a time when preparations are being made to move to the former Belk Department Store at 128 and 146 West Broad Avenue. The $10 million renovation project will double the space of the museum and allow it to bring back its permanent collection, which has been in storage since the devastating storms of January 2017.

“To have this challenge ahead of us to create a brand-new version of the AMA is a museum director’s dream,” Wulf said. “In terms of the future, I think the sky’s the limit on what this museum can be and do for Albany and the region.”

Wulf wants to enhance the museum’s effort at inclusion.

“I really feel that art museums, more than any other type of organization, represent one of the few public environments where courageous conversations can happen via art,” he said. “We’re a place where people can slow down. We encourage contemplation.

Said Wulf: “The AMA already is a place where all Albanians, Georgians, Americans and visitors can find themselves and discover new ideas and get their creative juices flowing.”

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