Hospitality | Tourism
Donna and Donald Baumgartner Director
Milwaukee Art Museum | Milwaukee
Marcelle Polednik was named the inaugural Donna and Donald Baumgartner director of the Milwaukee Art Museum in 2016. Previously, Polednik was director and chief curator at MOCA Jacksonville, the chief curator at the Monterey Museum of Art and an assistant curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Since joining MAM, she’s credited with refocusing the organization’s artistic program on original scholarship and activation of its collection and has led efforts to broaden the reach of MAM’s art in the community.
Under Polednik’s leadership, the museum unveiled a strategic direction in 2020 to guide its work into the future. Its four pillars include relevance to the community, robust community programming, expansive hospitality and impact aligned with financial strength and discipline. Having been forced to close its doors for periods of time throughout the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, Polednik is now leading the organization as it rebounds from those setbacks. In 2021, the museum launched its “Lakeside at MAM” summer programming, which returned for a second year in 2022. Prior to the pandemic, the museum had nearly 322,000 visitors
Outside of the MAM, Polednik curated Nares: Moves, the first retrospective of British contemporary artist Nares, in 2019.
Education: Bachelor’s, University of Southern California; master’s and Ph.D. in Art History, Institute of Fine Arts at New York University