Change at the Top

Last week it was reported that The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust had hired a new president and CEO; Celeste Adams will take over August 2. Most recently, she headed the Grand Rapids Art Museum. While there, not only did she bolster the financial situation of the museum, but she oversaw the construction of a new museum building, one whose green design won glowing reviews (Blair Kamin’s review can be read here).

Grand Rapids is also where the beautifully restored Meyer May House is. The home is owned by Steelcase, not the Grand Rapids Art Museum, but it’s hard to imagine that Ms. Adams hasn’t benefited from working in proximity to one of the finest restored Wright homes in the country. During her tenure, GRAM also was host to “Light Screens: The Leaded Glass of Frank Lloyd Wright” exhibition in 2001-2002.

Celeste Adams is replacing Joan Mercuri, CEO for 14 years, whose remarkable tenure saw the acquisition and restoration of the Robie House — possibly the most significant event in Wright world in a decade. “She’s just been a great shepherd for the organization and really helped us to grow into the leader in this field that we are, recognized not just regionally but nationally and internationally,” said James Schiefelbein, board chair for the trust. “She’s a class act.”

Ms. Mercuri began as a volunteer for the Preservation Trust in 1987, and is considering a return after her retirement.

Update: Blair Kamin’s Cityscapes blog points to an article about Celeste Adams from last December published in a Grand Rapids newspaper. This article, published in the town that likely knows her best, offers more evidence that she is an excellent choice for the top position at the Preservation Trust.