Heidi Zuckerman, the CEO and director of the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado, is stepping down. She will depart the museum at the end of her contracted period, on September 30, after more than 14 years in the top position. The reason for her departure has not been specified.
Asked for comment from Zuckerman, a museum spokesperson referred ARTnews to a news release. In an accompanying statement, she said that “it has been my distinct privilege and pleasure to serve as CEO and director of the Aspen Art Museum.” After referring to the museum’s board, staffers, and other members of its community, she said, “Together, we have made the AAM into the vibrant, thriving, and globally facing international institution it is today.”
Zuckerman has been at the museum since 2005, and helped the museum dramatically increase its attendance figures. When she began, the museum received 12,000 visitors annually; last year, 100,000 people came to the institution. She also grew the museum’s budget and redefined its programming to focus on solo exhibitions by contemporary artists well known to international audiences.
Some locals have criticized the museum’s programming shift away from artists working in the region, according to the Denver Post. A redesign of the museum’s building by the Pritzker Prize–winning architect Shigeru Ban, completed in 2014, likewise courted the ire of some residents in Aspen and the surrounding region.
“Heidi is a visionary director who has turned this museum into a global leader in contemporary art, and we wish her the best in all her future plans,” the museum’s board said in a statement given to the Aspen Daily News.
The news comes as the museum is gearing up to host its annual ArtCrush benefit—an important source of funds for the institution—in August and as it approaches its 40th anniversary.
Prior to joining the Aspen Art Museum, Zuckerman had previously been a curator at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in California and an assistant curator at the Jewish Museum in New York.