In what some are calling a surprise move, the Bronx Museum of Arts announced that Debroah Cullen-Morales will depart from the position of its director. Her stint of 18-months, which has been called fixed from the beginning, will end this month.
Before joining the Bronx Museum, Cullen-Morales was at the Wallach Art Gallery in New York since 2012. Prior to that, she was part of the El Museo del Barrio for 15 years. Cullen-Morales joined the museum in July last year (in a “difficult time”, as per a museum representative). Since she started her stint, she was responsible for a satellite museum being opened in Manhattan. She also spearheaded the addition of seven board members to the museum, including artist Angel Otero.
After her stint ends in December, deputy director of the museum Klaudio Rodriguez will take over as the ‘interim director’. The museum said that the search for a new director is still on. It obviously casts some shadow of doubts on the claim of ‘fixed tenure’. After all, if the museum was always aware that her stint would end in December this year, why didn’t they look for her successor earlier?
In any case, Joseph Mizzi (chair of the board at Bronx Museum) gave out a statement:
“We are all deeply grateful for Deborah’s contributions to the Bronx Museum of the Arts. She led our Museum with integrity and poise through a difficult and challenging transition following the tragic passing of Holly Block”
Conversely, Cullen-Morales thanked the museum in a statement and called it an “honour” working with them.