Cornell University has named Jessica Levin Martinez, head of the the Division of Academic and Public Programs at the Harvard Art Museums, as the new director of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art.
The Cornell University Board of Trustees approved her appointment as the Richard J. Schwartz Director of the museum during a meeting Jan. 31 in New York City, according to the Cornell Chronicle, the university's in-house publication. Martinez will start her term on July 15.
“Among an extremely talented pool of candidates, she impressed the search committee with her commitment and approach to museum-based interdisciplinary teaching, her willingness to take creative risks, and her managerial experience," Provost Michael I. Kotlikoff said. "She has a genuine enthusiasm for the academic museum and supporting the creative work of others, and we look forward to her leadership in building and further enhancing the impact the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art has on the campus and in the community.”
Martinez will be the museum’s fourth director since its founding 46 years ago. She succeeds Stephanie Wiles, who is now the director of the Yale University Art Gallery.
Martinez's background in museums began at Harvard University, where she switched her course of study from government major to fine arts at Radcliffe College during her final year as an undergraduate.
“I discovered art history and realized I could have a voice in that field,” Martinez told the Chronicle.