Changing Art Guard

Seattle Art Museum Announces Its Next Director

Amada Cruz will leave the Phoenix Art Museum and replace Kimerly Rorschach at SAM.

By Stefan Milne June 10, 2019

Amada Cruz will replace Kimerly Rorschach as SAM's director and CEO. 

In October, Seattle Art Museum announced that Kimerly Rorschach—its current director and CEO, who's brought such blockbuster exhibitions as Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrors to the museum—would retire in fall 2019. This morning, the museum has announced her replacement, Amada Cruz. 

Cruz has served as the director and CEO of the Phoenix Art Museum in Arizona since 2015, and she'll step into the SAM position this September. She was born in Havana, Cuba and has spent her 30-year career moving between positions around the country (at San Antonio-based Artpace, at Bard College). During her time at PAM, W Magazine named her one of the 11 most powerful female museum directors in the U.S. and Xico, an Arizona organization which serves Latinx and indigenous artists, gave her the Virginia E. Cárdenas Arts Advocate Award. When she steps into her roll at SAM, she'll get to introduce the long-in-the-works Asian Art Museum renovation (one of Rorschach's major projects here). 

"I am so excited about moving to one of the most progressive, innovative, and fastest-growing cities in the country," Cruz said in a press release. "As an immigrant, Seattle's embrace of diversity and commitment to inclusion certainly strikes a chord." 

Show Comments

Related Content

Light a Fire 2018: Extraordinary Executive Director

Kimerly Rorschach Helps Keep SAM Out of the Red and Into the Infinity Mirrors

05/22/2018 By Stefan Milne

Art History

Rehabilitating Uncle SAM

09/19/2022 By Sophie Grossman

Seattle After Dark

Things to Do at Night in Seattle

11/07/2022 By Sophie Grossman Illustrations by Bridgette Huhtala