The Telfair Museums announced this morning that Executive Director Steven High will take a job as director of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida. High is expected to begin the new assignment on June 1.
"What an honor it is for Steven to have been chosen to lead The Ringling Museum," said Cathy Solomons, the Telfair's board chairman. "For the past four years, Steven has taken the Telfair to a new level of excellence and prominence, and we will miss his vision and leadership, but wish him well in this exciting new opportunity."
High came to Savannah in 2007 shortly after the Telfair opened the Moshe Safdie-designed Jepson Center for the Arts. In 2008, he led a five-year strategic plan to highlight the diversity of the Telfair's three sites (Telfair Academy, Owens-Thomas House, Jepson Center) and increase cooperative efforts between them.
Telfair Museums ended 2010 with the highest attendance in the museum's history at 180,000 visitors.
"I have enjoyed working at the Telfair and love being part of the Savannah community. But when the opportunity at the Ringling was presented to me - from a professional point of view - I knew it was one I could not overlook" said High.
A search committee has been formed and will be responsible for finding High's replacement.