Brenneman, who has been on the High staff for 20 years, assumes his new post on July 1. He joined the High in 1995 as curator of European art; he was promoted to chief curator in 2001, and director of collections and exhibitions in 2006.
As director of exhibitions, Brenneman was involved in all major exhibitions at the High, which includes the Louvre Atlanta series (2006–09); Salvador Dalí: The Late Works (2010); Frida and Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting (2013); Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis (2013).
He has worked closely with outgoing director Michael Shapiro, whose tenure ends on July 31. The dual departure is similar to last year’s management changes at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.
At the Indiana University Art Museum, Brenneman will oversee a collection of more than 45,000 objects, compared to the High’s 14,000. Of his newly designated role, Brenneman said: “Museums need to be a part of their community, and reflect and lead the diversity and ideals of the community they serve. Bloomington attracts faculty and students from around the world. The IU Art Museum’s collection is special because it contains masterpieces from throughout human history and from all corners of the earth—and just about everybody’s background is reflected.”
According to the university’s press release: “Brenneman will lead efforts to reflect ethnic and gender diversity in all aspects of collections, exhibitions and daily operations; create more interactive cultural experiences; and engage with museums, collections and curators throughout the world to cultivate relationships that lead to meaningful and important exhibition projects.”