The Walters Art Museum announced Wednesday that Julia Marciari-Alexander will step down as director and CEO of the institution this fall.

Marciari-Alexander, who has been director of the museum since 2013 and was the first woman in the position, has been appointed president of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, a supporter of the study of European art, architecture and archaeology. She will remain at the Walters until September 2024 to help with the transition as the team begins an international search for their next leader.

“Throughout my time at the Walters Art Museum, I have been reminded regularly of how special this institution is and the many ways in which it is beloved by the Baltimore community,” Marciari-Alexander said in a press release. “I am deeply grateful for the support and collaboration of the Walters community — staff, volunteers, donors, trustees, and visitors alike. Your collective passion for art and education, and for the Walters’ special role in that space, has been a source of inspiration.”

Peter Bain, president of the Walters’ board of trustees, praised Marciari-Alexander’s “incredibly successful 11-plus year tenure,” and especially noted her leadership during the pandemic, which he described in a statement as “nothing short of exceptional.”

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“Julia will be leaving with a remarkable legacy and a long list of accomplishments, from her impact on our audience engagement through strong exhibitions and programs, to her leadership in forging new investments in our facilities and our staff,” he said. “We will miss her tremendously, but are excited for her to take on this important role at a foundation that holds a unique and critical place in the study of art history, in ways that resonate with the unique origins of the Walters itself.”

Bain told The Banner that the search for Marciari-Alexander’s replacement will be the responsibility of a board of trustees subcommittee made up of approximately eight members.

“The first thing the search committee will do is figure out where the museum is, where it’s going and what kind of qualities are going to be necessary to take it forward,” Bain said. “It is a rapidly changing environment for museums in this country, and one thing that I know is that the committee will want to be as forward-looking as it can be as we sort through what are going to be the critical skills and characteristics of the next great leader.”

Located in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood, the Walters Art Museum was established in 1934. The free museum has 36,000 art objects, from ancient artifacts to modern stained glass.