Walters Art Museum Names Julia Marciari-Alexander New Executive Director
On Monday, Feb. 20, the Walters Art Museum announced it has named Julia Marciari-Alexander as its new executive director, replacing Gary Vikan, who held the position for 18 years and worked at the museum an additional nine.
Under the direction of Vikan, the Walters became one of the first museums in the country to offer free admission, increasing both the number and diversity of the museum’s visitors, according to a press release.
Marciari-Alexander, a Wellesley College and Yale University grad, previously spent five years at the San Diego Museum of Art, most recently working as the deputy director of curatorial affairs. She oversaw re-installations within the museum’s galleries and helped to found the Center for Community and Cultural Arts, a space for joint exhibitions displaying pieces from several San Diego museums and the art community.
Prior to that, she worked at the Yale Center for British Art, rising to associate director for exhibitions and publications during her 10-year tenure.
In a telephone interview, she described a deep appreciation for the broad diversity of the collection, citing ancient the museum’s pieces that range from Egyptian sarcophagi all the way to 19th century art.
“The Walters is one of the great collections of American art; it’s encyclopedic,” she said.
As executive director, Marciari-Alexander says she hopes to expand Walters’ reach to different communities, particularly to college-aged students at the city’s many universities. She is set to begin her new role on April 1.
– Ryan Garvin