In the past year the Catalina
Island Museum has demonstrated its commitment to constructing a new museum in
Avalon by purchasing a centrally-located downtown property valued at nearly $2
The next significant step
in that process has now been taken with the appointment of the museum’s new
Executive Director: Dr. Michael De Marsche.
Dr. De Marsche’s background is
He has served as the
founding director of three museums, and has devoted nearly his entire twenty-year
career to constructing, expanding and renovating museum buildings located in
the United States and Europe.
”We are ecstatic to be able to
bring someone with Dr. DeMarsche’s qualifications and abilities to help build
our permanent home in Avalon” said Catalina Island Museum Board President
After receiving his Ph.D. in Art
History from Stanford University in 1996, De Marsche served as a faculty member
at Pittsburgh’s Chatham College and, later, at the University of Southern
He organized numerous
critically-acclaimed exhibitions at both schools, and while at U.S.M. became
the founding Director of the university’s new Museum of Art.
In 2000 he was appointed the founding
Director of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art at Auburn University and
oversaw the design and construction of a new 40,000 square foot museum building
and surrounding gardens.
he became the President and CEO of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, and
directed the renovation of the Fine Arts Center’s historic 1936 Art Deco
building and the construction of a new 48,000 square-foot museum wing.
After concluding a $28.4 million
capital campaign, the Fine Arts Center was awarded the prestigious
El Pomar Foundation Award for Excellence,
which recognizes the outstanding organization in the arts and humanities in the
Rocky Mountain region.
In 2007 Dr.
De Marsche was appointed the Executive Director of the Cafesjian Museum
Foundation in Yerevan, Armenia.
While in Yerevan, he directed the construction and renovation of a
former Soviet monument into a 150,000 square-foot museum building dedicated to
the exhibition of contemporary art.
After its opening in November of last year—which was attended by over
New York Times
wrote that the museum is one of the “most memorable museum buildings to open in
ages…offering a whole nation a kind of uplift.”
“This is a pivotal moment in the
history of the Catalina Island Museum,” De Marsche recently stated.
“I am honored and incredibly excited to
be working with the museum’s board to construct a museum that is so progressive
and innovative that the rest of the country will take notice.”
To read this article on the Art Daily website click here.