Barbara O’Brien Steps Down as Executive Director of Kemper Museum

Barbara O’Brien Steps Down as Executive Director of Kemper Museum

Media Room

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art announced today that Barbara O’Brien has resigned as Executive Director. 

“We are grateful to Barbara for her many years of service at the Kemper, first as curator and since June 2012 as Executive Director,” said Mary Kemper Wolf, Chairman of the Kemper Museum Board of Trustees.  “In addition to her oversight of numerous extraordinary exhibitions, additions to the Permanent Collection, and Museum programs, Barbara led the Kemper through an important period of transition during her tenure. Most recently, she worked diligently and closely with the Board to develop a new Strategic Plan for the organization. We wish Barbara well as she explores new opportunities going forward.” 

Ms. Wolf said a national search will be launched to identify the Museum’s next Executive Director.

“Serving as the Executive Director of the Kemper Museum for the past five-and-a-half years has been the high point of my professional life,” Ms. O’Brien said.  “I have particularly enjoyed the opportunity I was given to develop and strengthen connections to the wider cultural and civic community. I am confident the powerful artistic and educational vision I have put in place positions the museum well for the future, as reflected by the recently completed Strategic Plan. The museum’s strong position provides me with an opportunity to take stock of my personal and professional goals and consider future opportunities and, as a result, I have decided to resign as Executive Director. I wish the Kemper Museum Board of Trustees, staff, volunteers, and supporters the very best.”

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About Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Kansas City’s renowned FREE contemporary art museum, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art opened in October 1994 and draws 100,000 visitors each year. The Museum boasts a rapidly growing Permanent Collection that uniquely bridges modern and contemporary works of art featuring artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Helen Frankenthaler, Willem de Kooning, Georgia O’Keeffe, Keltie Ferris, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Richard Mosse, and Ursula von Rydingsvard. Special exhibitions, installations, lectures, as well as children, teen, and family programs and workshops are hosted at the Museum regularly.


Media inquiries please contact:
Breeze Richardson, Director of Marketing and Communications
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
brichardson@kemperart.org | 816-457-6132