In May 2014, Dr. William M. Griswold became the tenth director of the Cleveland Museum of Art since its founding in 1913. Dr. Griswold enters the life of the museum at a dynamic moment—with a completed expansion project increasing its capacity and significance, and a centennial anniversary of the museum's opening approaching. His ambition is to build the museum’s strong relevance throughout the region, the nation, and the world, capitalize on its long-standing community engagement legacy, and enhance the quality and breadth of its well-known collection.
Dr. Griswold’s tenure at the Cleveland Museum of Art follows his term as the fifth director of the Morgan Library & Museum since the institution’s founding in 1924. During his seven years of leadership there, Dr. Griswold spearheaded the growth of the Morgan’s collections, exhibition program, and curatorial departments, most recently adding photography as a focus. He oversaw a number of important exhibitions and scholarly exchanges with leading international museums, including the Louvre, London’s Courtauld Institute, Munich’s Graphische Sammlung, and Turin’s Biblioteca Reale.
In 2010, Dr. Griswold initiated the first interior restoration of the Morgan’s historic McKim building since its construction as Pierpont Morgan’s private study and library more than a century ago. He also oversaw a project to digitize the Morgan’s renowned collections, beginning with two of its most important holdings: drawings and music manuscripts. In 2011, he supervised the establishment of the innovative Morgan Drawing Institute to advance the study of drawings of all periods and schools. As a result of these initiatives, and many more, the Morgan over the past several years has seen some of the most robust donor support and attendance in its history.
Dr. Griswold had previously served as director and president of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts from 2005 to 2007; acting director and chief curator of the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2004 to 2005; and associate director for collections at the Getty, beginning in 2001. Prior to joining the Getty, Dr. Griswold had been Charles W. Engelhard Curator and Head of the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Morgan Library since 1995. From 1988 to 1995, he was on the staff of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, first as assistant and then as associate curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints.
Dr. Griswold was the co-author with Jacob Bean of 18th-Century Italian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and has written extensively on Florentine drawings of the early Renaissance. He oversaw the design and creation of the Morgan’s Drawing Study Center, and in 1998 curated a historically significant exchange of exhibitions between the Morgan and the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, and the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow. In 1999 he co-curated New York Collects, the Morgan’s first major exhibition devoted to twentieth-century art, and in 2002 he was co-author with Jennifer Tonkovich of Pierre Matisse and His Artists.
Formerly a member of the board of directors of the Courtauld Institute of Art, Dr. Griswold currently serves on the boards of the American Federation of Arts, American Friends of the Shanghai Museum, and American Trust for the British Library. He is a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors and president of Master Drawings Association, which publishes the scholarly journal Master Drawings. In 2008, he was awarded the insignia of Chevalier of the French Order of Arts and Letters.
Dr. Griswold earned his bachelor’s degree at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, and his PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London.