MFA Boston director Malcolm Rogers retiring

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 27, 2014 at 7:57 pm •  Published: February 27, 2014
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BOSTON (AP) — Malcolm Rogers, the longest serving director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, has announced his retirement.

Rogers told the MFA's board of trustees Thursday night he will stay on the job he's held for 19 years until a successor is chosen, the museum said.

Rogers, 65, is credited with innovative exhibitions, expanding the 144-year-old museum's collection and its landmark building, and its education and community outreach.

Trustees chairwoman Grace Fey said Rogers "will forever be a part of the foundation of this museum and of an arts and culture renaissance in Boston." She told The Boston Globe the search for a successor could take a year.

"My 20 years have been such an invigorating time at the MFA, as we worked to reinforce the Museum's position as a vital community resource and transform it into a global destination for arts and culture," Rogers said. He thanked the museum's workers and supporters, and the millions "who consider the MFA a special part of their lives."

During his tenure, the MFA began operating seven days a week, eliminated admission fees for children under 18, and opened some entrance doors it had closed to save money.

He led a $504 million fundraising campaign that included building its new Art of the Americas Wing, opened in 2010, and renovating its west-facing wing as the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art in 2011.

Among 375 exhibitions the MFA held, he drew some criticism and new audiences with less conventional shows such as a 1996 exhibit of celebrity photographer Herb Ritts, and fashion designer Ralph Lauren's car collection in 2005.

Rogers told the Globe he's looking forward to a lighter schedule, and said the MFA will benefit from "a fresh pair of eyes, a fresh intelligence."