The National Gallery of Art, located in Washington, went through a big shuffle recently. Darren Walker was included into the board of trustees while Mitchell Rales was elected the president of the institution. This shuffle occurred after existing members of the institution retired from the position. Andrew Saul stepped down from his position to serve as US Commissioner of Social Security. Frederick Beinecke, the current president, stepped down from the position for Rales and would now serve as trustee emeritus.
Darren Walker has had an illustrious career in the field of culture and business. Before his current stint at Ford Foundation, he was the vice-president at the Rockefeller Foundation. Currently, he serves in a variety of organizations like New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform as part of an Independent Commission. He is a co-chair in the Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers located in New York City. Walker is also a part of the UN International Labor Organization Global Commission on the Future of Work. Talking about his new role, Walker said that his aim is making the museum more accessible to everyone. He also plans to ensure that the museum is more “illustrative of the complex fabric of our American democracy.”
Mitchell Rales has a long history of being an art benefactor, appearing in the Top 200 list since 2010. In May this year, Rales and his wife purchased a Lee Krasner painting for a spectacular price of $11.7 million. In 2013 the couple donated $10 to the National Gallery of Art, on whose board Rales have served since 2006. Talking about Walker’s induction and his own new role, Rales said:
“We look forward to working with Darren in planning for the museum’s future and broadening the scope of our mission to foster the understanding of art for our national visitors, as well as for visitors from around the world.”
The museum also inducted Sharon Rockefeller into the board of trustees while David Rubenstein continued to serve on the board.