EFFECTIVE THIS MONTH, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has a new head of education. The New York City museum named Heidi Holder the Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chair of Education. She previously served as director of education at the Queens Museum.

News of Holder’s hiring was announced Sept. 18, alongside the appointment of Douglas Hegley, the Met’s incoming chief digital officer. Both have October start dates.

“The Met’s Digital and Educational offerings present a fully global perspective of the Museum’s collection and scholarship while expanding outreach to our growing audiences; sparking curiosity and dialogue; and fostering a greater understanding of our world today,” Met Director Max Hollein said in a statement.

“The successful interplay of these areas is critical to furthering the Museum’s mission in the 21st century, an effort that will be greatly strengthened by the vision, expertise, and commitment to learning and engagement that these two exceptional leaders bring to The Met. I look forward to welcoming them both.”

Both positions are managed by Inka Drögemüller, deputy director for Digital, Education, Publications, Imaging, Libraries, and Live Arts. She said Holder is a widely respected expert in her field and added: “A champion of equity and inclusion across all museum settings, Heidi has long used education to explore and promote ways for communities to connect to art in new and exciting ways.”

“A champion of equity and inclusion across all museum settings, Heidi has long used education to explore and promote ways for communities to connect to art in new and exciting ways.”
— Met Deputy Director Inka Drögemüller

Holder has more than two decades of experience in education management at cultural and higher education institutions. For three years, she has led education programming at the Queens Museum in Queens, N.Y., overseeing on-site and off-site opportunities serving more than 30,000 children, adults, and families. Her portfolio included strategic planning and visual arts and museum interpretation programs. She also played a pivotal role in creating evidence-based initiatives that responded to the interests of various communities and expanded the museum’s audiences.

She previously was director of education at the Museum for African Art in New York, which is now known as The Africa Center. Earlier in her career, Holder held senior education administration positions at Brooklyn College and City College. She is also founder of the education and research consulting firm, Redloh Education.

Holder, who lectures regularly on equity in museums, earned a Ph.D., in urban education from the Graduate School and University Center at The City University of New York. She also has a B.A. in art history and studio art from Brooklyn College.

The appointment of Holder comes nearly a year after the departure of Sandra Jackson-Dumont was announced in November 2019. Jackson-Dumont had served as chair of education at the Met since 2014 and was hired away to lead the forthcoming Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. She started as director and CEO of the Los Angeles museum in January.

At the Met, Holder indicated she is honored to take the reins. “For many in New York and around the world, The Met is a place of inspiration and hope—rare things in this challenging time—and I am honored to join this great institution and its world-class educational program,” Holder said.

“The Met’s scholarship, educational programs, and expansive collection offer unique opportunities for cultural education, critical dialogue, interdisciplinary scholarship, and more. I look forward to collaborating with Max, Inka, and The Met’s esteemed staff to support these unparalleled opportunities and to engaging with local and global audiences in new and exciting ways. CT

 

BOOKSHELF
“Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle” accompanies an exhibition currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “Jack Whitten: Odyssey: Sculpture 1963–2017” and “Kerry James Marshall: Mastry,” document exhibitions on view at the museum in recent years. “History Refused to Die: The Enduring Legacy of African American Art in Alabama” and “My Soul Has Grown Deep: Black Art from the American South” highlight works from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation. An exhibition dedicated to works acquired from the foundation was presented at The Met in 2018.

 

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