Albany Institute of History & Art names new executive director

The Albany Institute of History & Art. Inset: Kristen Oehlrich. (Staff and provided photos)

The Albany Institute of History & Art. Inset: Kristen Oehlrich. (Staff and provided photos)

ALBANY The Albany Institute of History & Art announced Monday that Kristen Oehlrich has been named the museum’s new executive director.

The Buffalo native, who was most recently the Founder and President of Triumph of Flora, Strategic Art Advising in New York City, will replace longtime leader Tammis Groft, who started as an intern at the museum in 1976.

“I am humbled to take a leadership role with an organization that has such a rich history and bright future,” said Oehlrich. “The Institute’s mission to connect diverse audiences to the art and culture of our region dovetails with my own commitment to develop programming and exhibitions that educate, inspire, and entertain. I look forward to building on the solid foundation developed by Tammis Groft and extending the Institute’s legacy while strengthening connections within the Institute and with the public. I also look forward to working with the talented staff and Board of Trustees to deepen the Institute’s impact on the region and around the world.”

Before her role at Triumph of Flora, Strategic Art Advising, Oehlrich served as interim assistant director in the Research & Academic Program at The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. She has also previously served as a post-doctoral teaching and research fellow in the Graduate Art History Program at Williams College.

Oehlrich holds a Ph.D. in the History of Art and Architecture and an executive MBA, both from Brown University. Additionally, she holds a Masters of Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University and a Bachelor of Arts, Art History, from the State University of New York College at Fredonia.

“The Institute was interested in a leader who had both entrepreneurial and academic experience combined with a deep appreciation for art, history, and the culture of the Upper Hudson Valley,” said John G. Walsh III, trustee and chair of the Search Committee.
“We also wanted a leader with a proven record of engaging diverse audiences, and the ability to embrace and advance the important work of our mission. Our thirteen-member search committee believed unanimously that Dr. Oehlrich fits that profile perfectly.”

Oehlrich formally starts on June 1.

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