Max Marmor Announces Retirement from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation

Monday, March 6, 2023

Max Marmor Announces Retirement from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation

(New York, March 6, 2023) — Max C. Marmor, President of The Samuel H. Kress Foundation since 2007, announced today that he will retire in December 2023. Mr. Marmor was recruited to lead the Kress Foundation in 2006 after a distinguished career as an art librarian with deep roots in the history of European art and a profound commitment to supporting the needs of art historians in both the academy and art museums. He has led the Foundation through an era of rapid and fundamental change in the arts and humanities, while passionately sustaining the Foundation’s abiding commitment to the appreciation, study, teaching and preservation of European art of the pre-modern era and to fostering the development of the next generation of art historians, art museum curators and educators, conservators and art librarians.

“Leading the Kress Foundation has been an extraordinary honor,” said Mr. Marmor. “Like all of us engaged with the history of European art, I have found that my life has been profoundly shaped by Kress, by its grant and fellowship programs, and above all by the countless individuals who have embodied and helped to realize its mission.”

“Max Marmor has been a faithful steward of the Kress Foundation’s mission and programs centered on pre-1800 European art, and its renewed significance in contemporary global culture,” said Board of Trustees Chair Carmela Vircillo Franklin. “He has led the Foundation to strengthen its outreach to new communities, and to broaden the public appreciation for European art throughout our country. We are profoundly grateful for his leadership of the Foundation, and for expanding its impact.”

Since Mr. Marmor arrived at Kress in 2007, the Foundation has introduced important new programs that have enriched Kress’s longstanding support for the field of art history. Mr. Marmor instituted a major new commitment to art museum educators, to elevate their professional profile and advance their didactic mission. Similarly, under his leadership, the Foundation has also played an instrumental role in shaping and advancing the practice of digital art history. Above all, Mr. Marmor has sustained Kress’s fundamental commitment to fostering succeeding generations by strengthening and expanding the wide array of fellowship programs supported by the Foundation. Today these fellowship programs provide exceptional opportunities for graduate students across the nation to deepen their fluency in foreign languages, to explore potential careers as art museum curators and educators, and to pursue doctoral research through extended residencies at key European art history research centers. Kress fellowship programs similarly enable emerging art conservation professionals to supplement their academic training with hands-on experience at museum conservation centers.

The Kress Board of Trustees will undertake a recruitment process for Mr. Marmor’s successor in the coming months.

About the Kress Foundation

The Samuel H. Kress Foundation was founded in 1929 by Samuel H. Kress (1863-1955), who donated his remarkable collection of historic European art to more than forty academic and municipal art museums in the US and Puerto Rico as “a gift to the nation.” Its abiding mission is to sustain and carry out the original democratic vision of its founder. Kress supports the work of individuals and institutions engaged with the appreciation, interpretation, preservation, study and teaching of the history of European art and architecture from antiquity to the dawn of the modern era. Kress serves the field of art history as practiced in American art museums and institutions of higher education, and in an array of research centers and libraries throughout the world. Kress further supports training and research in art conservation as well as the professional practice of art conservation. Today, Kress makes grants in defined program areas and offers professional development fellowships for historians of art and architecture, art conservators, art museum curators and educators, and art librarians.

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