Florida State University announced new leadership to the Museum of Fine Arts (MoFA) on July 30, with the appointment of Dr. C. Preston McLane (PhD/JD Florida State University) as Director, and Meredith Lynn (MFA University of Iowa) as Gallery Director.
Founding Director Dr. Allys Palladino-Craig will retire on August 31, 2018. Since 1980, Palladino-Craig has been instrumental in advancing MoFA from a gallery to the regionally-known art institution it is today. She attained initial American Alliance of Museums (AAM) accreditation for the museum in 2003 and re-accreditation in 2012. In addition to sharing the curatorial role with numerous faculty curators/authors, Dr. Palladino-Craig has won over one hundred grants to support programming at MoFA. She also founded the MoFA Museum Press, which publishes catalogues of exhibitions that originate at the Museum, and has served as its editor-in-chief. The Museum Press also produces Athanor, an internationally-distributed journal of art history research authored by MA and PhD candidates across the country and presented at the annual Art History Graduate Symposium.
The Museum of Fine Arts is the largest academic art museum in the Big Bend, with 9,000 square feet of exhibition space and a permanent collection of over 6,000 objects. The permanent collection includes important artworks by historical and contemporary artists, with recent gifts of such notable artists as Judy Chicago, Trevor Bell, and Andy Warhol. Visitor attendance has exceeded 58,000 in recent years, including more than 8,400 K–12 students directly impacted by in-school visits, museum tours, and education events, coordinated by Education Director Viki D. Thompson Wylder.
FSU’s Museum of Fine Arts is a resource for and within Florida State University, but it also serves the entire Big Bend through its exhibitions and substantial K-12 Education Programs. It has a big mission, one that FSU believes in so strongly that we are working to expand the staff at the Museum,
– Sally McRorie, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Florida State University.
Dr. C. Preston McLane has been named Director. In this role, he will be responsible for leading and supporting the Museum and its activities. Prior museum positions include curatorial fellowships at the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, the Appleton Museum of Art in Ocala, and the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, Russia. His personal research ranges from environmental art to fictitiousness in early modern and contemporary art to nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian and Soviet art and much more.
“It will be something of a homecoming for Dr. McLane who served on the museum staff for six years until 2006 when he received his PhD. He knows the facility, our collection, and this community,”
– Dr. Allys Palladino-Craig
McLane received his PhD in Art History from Florida State in 2006 and has been teaching courses in the department as an Adjunct Professor since. He received his JD from FSU Law in 2009 and has served in the Division of Air Resource Management for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection since 2013 — first as a Program Administrator and most recently as Deputy Director.
We expect Preston McLane to launch a new chapter in the storied history of our Museum of Fine Arts. His unique range of experiences as curator, administrator, educator, and art historian will allow us to explore exciting new directions for MoFA,
– Scott Shamp, Interim Dean of the College of Fine Arts.
Meredith Lynn will serve as gallery director, taking responsibility for the management and programming of all College of Fine Arts galleries, including the exhibition spaces within MoFA, the William Johnston Building Gallery, and the Phyllis Strauss Gallery in the Carnaghi Arts Building.
Since 2015, Lynn has been Gallery Director at Indiana State University, where she introduced a number of dynamic programming initiatives and successfully secured funding from local, state and national granting organizations. She received her BFA from Cornell University and her MFA from University of Iowa, specializing in both painting and drawing. She previously served as director of the Rourke Art Museum in Moorhead, Minnesota, and the Nemeth Art Center in Park Rapids, Minnesota.
The coming season will begin with the 33rd Annual Tallahassee International, a juried competition open to artists worldwide. Exhibitions will follow featuring selections from the permanent and local collections, and the work of artists graduating from the BFA and MFA programs. This program of engaging and informative exhibitions is part of the Museum’s ongoing efforts to serve the general public and the university community.
The College of Fine Arts looks forward to the contributions that Dr. McLane and Meredith Lynn will make to the college, university, and our community.