The director of Canada’s National Gallery will be the next head of the Philadelphia Museum of Art


Just days after the launch of its blockbuster show General Idea, the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) announced that director and executive director Sasha Suda has resigned to “take on a new role in the US this fall,” with May 9 July is her last day at the museum in Ottawa. She will take over as director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) in September.

In Philadelphia, Suda will succeed Timothy Rub, who resigned from the post in the summer of 2021 after 13 years in that role and a tumultuous period during which the museum was criticized for displaying a pattern of workplace abuse and alleged sexual misconduct hadn’t stopped by a director of the institution. Rub eventually apologized to his staff for management’s handling of the situation. The workers at the facility subsequently voted to form a union. Rub’s tenure also included the completion of a major, mostly underground, $233 million expansion and renovation designed by Frank Gehry.

Suda’s stay at the NGC was comparatively quiet (and brief). She joined the National Gallery in February 2019 and guided them through the Covid-19 pandemic. This was followed by eight years at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), where she was curator of European art.

Françoise Lyon, NGC Board Chair, commended Suda for her efforts on his behalf.

“The board hired Sasha in 2019 with a very clear mandate and she has delivered on those goals,” Lyon said in a statement. “Under our leadership, she led the creation of the National Gallery of Canada’s first strategic plan, advocating for reconciliation, equity, equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility, and revitalizing the institutional brand.”

For her part, Suda said running the gallery was “the opportunity of a lifetime”. She added, “It has been a privilege to lead the NGC team and make fine arts meaningful to Canadians from coast to coast to coast.”

An interim director and chief executive for the NGC will be appointed shortly.

Meanwhile, Leslie Ann Miller, Chair of the PMA, said in a statement about Suda: “She is an accomplished art scholar with an inspiring vision for the museum’s future and a proven commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and access. Sasha is the leader we need at this transformational moment.”

Suda received her BA from Princeton University, an MA from Williams College and a PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University before beginning her curatorial career at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


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