2nd October 2023
Timothy Rub was born in 1952 in New York. He received a B.A. in Art History from Middlebury College in Vermont, and an M.A. in Art History from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. He also received an M.B.A. from Yale University.
After completing his doctoral coursework in Art History, Rub became a Ford Foundation Fellow at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in 1983 and remained there for until 1987, curating several exhibitions on American architecture, including Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School and Vienna/New York: The Work of Joseph Urban. He was appointed Assistant Director of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College in 1987, and Director in 1991. He served as Director of the Cincinnati Art Museum from 2000 to 2006, when he became Director of the Cleveland Museum of Art. During his tenure, the museum completed the first phase of a seven-year $330 million renovation and expansion designed by the architect Rafael Viñoly. He also developed a touring exhibitions programme that sent exhibitions from the museum to Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, Munich, and a number of venues in North America, and was responsible for many important acquisitions, including a 10th-century Chola temple sculpture of the Hindu god Shiva.
In September 2009, Rub became the 13th Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He retired in 2022 after completing a capital campaign that raised over $600 million and an extensive renovation and reorganisation, designed by Frank Gehry, of the interior of the museum’s landmark main building.
Among his many programmatic accomplishments in Philadelphia were the renovation and reinstallation of the museum’s galleries of Southeast Asian art, Chinese art, and American art to 1850, the organisation of a number of major travelling exhibitions, including The Essential Duchamp, Paint the Revolution: Mexican Art, 1910 – 1950, Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective, and Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror. During his tenure the museum’s world-renowned collection was strengthened through a number of major gifts and purchases, among them the Paul Strand Archive, The Fox and Grapes Dressing Table, a masterwork of early American furniture, important paintings by Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, and Édouard Manet, and several major collections of contemporary art that included works by key artists such as Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns, Brice Marden, Sean Scully, Charles Ray, and Philip Guston.
Courtesy of Timothy Rub.