Art Bridges Leadership Transition

Provost steps down.

After a successful four-year tenure as the founding Chief Executive Officer at Art Bridges Foundation, Paul Provost has decided to step down to focus on new opportunities in the arts that have come his way.

Since joining the foundation in 2019, Paul raised awareness of Art Bridges throughout the museum field and oversaw the creation of numerous exhibitions and programs, including the Partner Loan Network and Art Bridges Fellows Program. He also stewarded the development of the Art Bridges Collection and expanded the foundation’s network to over 200 partner museums. Paul’s contributions to Art Bridges are numerous and significant, and we value his accomplishments.

Reflecting on his time at Art Bridges, Paul noted: “After four wonderful years leading Art Bridges, and as the foundation moves from start-up to scale-up, the timing is right for me to step aside from my role and return home to New York. With a solid foundation in place for the future, Art Bridges will move into its next phase of growth, expanding access to American art across the country.”

New Appointment

The Art Bridges Board of Directors has asked Michael E. Shapiro, an esteemed museum director, to serve as interim CEO and lead the search for Art Bridges’ next leader.

Michael was the Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr. Director of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA from 2000 to 2015. He joined the High’s leadership team in 1995 as Deputy Director and Chief Curator.

During his 20 years at the High, Michael oversaw unprecedented growth of the museum’s collections, developed numerous partnerships with national and international art institutions to bring masterworks to the High, and increased the reach and impact of the museum’s educational programs, increasing accessibility for school children and diverse audiences.

Prior to his tenure at the High, Michael held positions as director at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, chief curator at Saint Louis Art Museum, and assistant professor in the Department of Art at Duke University in Durham, NC.

Last year, Michael led a successful national search to identify and appoint the new director at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

“The Art Bridges Board and I are delighted to have Michael join us to lead the team and guide the search for the next CEO,” says Art Bridges founder and board chair, Alice Walton. “He brings depth and breadth of experience in working with museums and has committed his career to expanding access to the arts, which aligns fully with Art Bridges’ mission.”

Next Steps

Michael and the Art Bridges team will reach out to museum partners to ensure key contacts are in place. We will share additional information as the search for Art Bridges’ next leader unfolds.

If you have questions in the meantime, please Contact Us.