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Head Of Cummer Museum Returning To Toledo Museum Of Art

Adam Levine
Adam Levine

Adam Levine, who was hired as the Cummer Museum of Arts & Gardens CEO in October 2018, has announced he is leaving.

Levine was hired in October 2018 but didn’t fully assume the role as Director and CEO until January 2019. Now Levine has decided to return to the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) in Toledo, Ohio, where he will serve as the museum’s director.

“It has been a privilege to lead the Cummer Museum and to partner with its inspiring board, donors, staff, and volunteers on a variety of dynamic initiatives that moved the institution forward. I have loved my time in this community and am grateful for the warmth with which I was received and for the embrace of the Cummer Museum’s vision,” said Levine.

Over the past 18 months the Cummer Museum has increased attendance and membership by 20% year-over-year, expanded educational programs, developed a strategic plan, rebuilt its hurricane-damaged gardens, and started new programs to make the museum more accessible for all audiences. 

Archived Video: Levine Discusses Restoration Of Gardens 

“We are very sad to lose Adam,” said Pam D. Paul, chair of the Cummer Museum’s Board of Trustees. “He certainly has been pivotal in helping us to realize the potential of what we all felt the Cummer could become.”

But Paul said she and the rest of the board understand Levine’s decision.

Levine still owns a home in Toledo and his fiancee and her family all still live there.

“Toledo’s a very significant museum, about three times as big as the Cummer,” said Paul. “The combination of the really high level job and being able to reunite with family was just something he couldn’t turn down.”

She hopes the Cummer’s relationship with Levine will lead to partnerships with TMA and some level of access to that museum’s art collections.

Before Levine arrived in Jacksonville, the Cummer Museum had been searching for a new leader for more than two years after former Executive Director Hope McMath resigned in August of 2016.

“Let’s hope the next search doesn’t take two years. Happy for Adam as he’s going to be leading one of the best museums in the country, sad for our community,” McMath tweeted Thursday.

Paul said she’s very optimistic that the search won’t take so long this time.

“We’re now coming off an incredible record of success,” she said. “I think that others around the country who are working in museums have been taking note of the pretty amazing progress that’s happened here.”

Levine’s last day at the Cummer Museum will be April 24, 2020. He will begin his new position at TMA in May.

“Our board is going to develop a cohesive transition plan and ensure that artistic and operational excellence continues to be paramount as we move forward. It is anticipated that Adam will be a part of this transition period for the next 90 days,” said Paul.

“Just as we did before, our board will work tirelessly to recruit the best and brightest new director and CEO. We are grateful to Adam for his visionary leadership in creating new experiences focused on quality, access and fun for all ages and interests to enjoy. We wish him all the best in Toledo.”

In the meantime, Paul said there will be news of a “big gift” to the Cummer in the near future.

Special Projects Producer Brendan Rivers joined WJCT News in August of 2018 after several years as a reporter and then News Director at Southern Stone Communications, which owns and operates several radio stations in the Daytona Beach area.