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July 8, 2002

New director appointed to Carlos Museum, will take over in August

By Allison Germaneso Dixon

Bonnie Anne Speed, director of the Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas was appointed director of the Carlos Museum on June 26. She will assume her new role in August.

“I am delighted that Bonnie Speed will be joining us to guide the Carlos Museum, bringing with her abundant energy, considerable museum experience, poise, focus and a strong dose of humor and self-knowledge,” said President Bill Chace.

Of her new position, Speed said, “I am thrilled with my appointment as the next director of the Carlos Museum. It is a beautiful museum with stellar collections and a fantastic staff. I can’t wait to get started.”

Strengthening institutions’ artistic visions, building audiences and forming strategic partnerships are recurring themes in Speed’s career of museum leadership—skills that should prove advantageous for the Carlos Museum.

During her two-year leadership, the Crow Collection developed a new and ambitious program of temporary exhibitions to complement its permanent holdings, attracting new audiences and formulating compelling reasons for visitors to return regularly.

Speed also is credited with establishing the organization’s first membership program, forming a core group of supporters for the young institution. Educational outreach is one of Speed’s priorities, and initiatives she pursued in Dallas include an innovate music series merging area musicians with Asian musicians, and a quilting festival with 12 of the city’s arts organizations forming an alliance to celebrate international quilting traditions with exhibitions and programming.

An experienced curator, Speed organized exhibitions of both Japanese and Chinese art for the Crow Colletion.

“Bonnie is a talented and experienced director with the creativity and passion to lead the museum, build effective collaborations at Emory and in Atlanta, and attract new audiences to the Carlos,” said interim Director Catherine Howett Smith.

Prior to joining the Crow Collection, Speed served for nine years as director of visual arts at the Mitchell Museum at Cedarhurst in Mount Vernon, Ill. There, she established the 90-acre Cedarhurst Sculpture Park on the grounds of the museum’s building, a historic home that housed a collection of late-19th/early-20th century American paintings and works on paper. Speed orchestrated all acquisitions for the sculpture park, which contained 61 works at her departure in 2000, and contributed to the Cedarhurst complex becoming one of southern Illinois’ leading cultural institutions.

A fine arts/art education graduate of the University of Southern Maine, Speed continued her studies in art history at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and San Diego State University. She earned her M.A. in art history at the University of Kansas and attended the Mandarin Training Center in Taipei, Taiwan on a scholarship to study conversational and written Chinese.