Ghislain d’Humières will leave his post as director of the Speed Art Museum at the end of this month, the museum announced Wednesday morning.
D’Humières will return to France, his home country, to help care for his ailing father, the news release stated, and Stephen Reily will take over as interim director until a permanent replacement can be found.
“I am so incredibly proud of what I have been able to accomplish during my time at the Speed Art Museum with the support of this amazing community,” d’Humières said in the release. “I will always remember the commitment of this community to ensure this prized museum lasts a lifetime.”
Taking the helm of the Speed Art Museum in 2013, d’Humières oversaw the three-year, $60 million renovation of the art museum, which included contemporary art galleries, a cafe, a movie theater, state-of-the-art exhibition space, the Elizabeth P. and Frederick K. Cressman Art Park and a grand hall for events, performances and lectures.
“We are forever indebted to Ghislain for the enormous strides that we achieved under his leadership,” Martha Slaughter, chair of the Speed Art Museum board of directors, said in the release. “And while we wish him and his family well, we are incredibly fortunate to have Stephen Reily, with his rich experience and love of art, willing to step up to ensure we continue the momentum we have created.”
An entrepreneur and civic leader, Reily served on the Speed Art Museum’s board previously for 10 years, is the longtime chair of the Greater Louisville Project and is a member of the Louisville Urban League’s board. He owns three companies: marketing agency Vibrant Nation, brand licensing agency IMC Licensing, and digital financial wellness provider SUM180. He also is an investor in Insider Louisville.
There is no timeline for when the search for a permanent replacement will begin.
“I think we are going to take a pause and decide what we want in the next leader,” said Slaughter told Insider Louisville in a phone interview. “I don’t want to rush into a search right away.”
Reily declined to comment for this story.
The Courier-Journal reported this week that the Speed Art Museum was not hitting its expected visitors numbers. Museum leaders projected that 200,000 people would walk through the museum’s doors each year. Last year, visitor numbers only reached 125,000 people.
“I think we are still working on the stability of the institution and developing programming,” Slaughter said in the phone interview. “The staff is so professional, and the museum will continue business as usual. There’s a lot of energy at the museum right now, so I don’t think it’s going to slow down at all.”
IL reported in August, that just five months after the renovations, the Speed Art Museum had to lay off seven employees.