San Jose Museum of Art Appoints James Leventhal Director of Development

Release date 
Sunday, November 15, 2015

For Immediate Release
Press contact: Sherrill Ingalls, 408.271.6872 or
Digital images available for download here or upon request.



SAN JOSE, California (November 6, 2015)— The San Jose Museum of Art has appointed James Leventhal as director of development. Leventhal is an experienced fundraising professional who comes to SJMA from The Exploratorium, San Francisco, where he was director of development, and prior to that the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, where he was deputy director for development. Leventhal, who joined SJMA’s staff November 3, will lead the museum’s the Museum's development, membership, and facility rental programs. 

“James is an extraordinarily energetic development professional, who brings to SJMA impressive experience in museums as well as his early grounding in studio art and art history. He is a consummate and widely respected professional, interested in the changing face of museums today and at the forefront of creative applications of technology. His extensive success as a fundraiser; his infectious passion for the arts; and his balance of solid operational skills and an exciting vision will be instrumental to the Museum’s growth and further success,” said Susan Krane, Oshman Executive Directorat SJMA.

“It is very satisfying to be returning to a pure art environment, and SJMA has such an incredibly strong record of community engagement and an amazing track record of high quality programs,” said Leventhal. “As SJMA looks toward its 50th anniversary in a few years, this is an exciting time of growth for the Museum. I’m eager to help secure the support necessary to continue expanding the Museum’s educational mission out into the diverse communities of San Jose and bolster the SJMA’s reputation nationally and internationally.”

At the Exploratorium, Leventhal led a team responsible for raising over $3.2 million dollars in individual gifts. From 2010 to 2014, he was deputy director for development at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. Leventhal served as director of development and marketing at the Judah L. Magnes Museum, University of California, Berkeley, for seven years, and served as a fundraising consultant for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. He worked in various development capacities at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, from 1997-2002. Leventhal holds an MBA in management and museum studies from John F. Kennedy University, Berkeley; an MA in art history and museum studies from The City College, City University of New York; and a BS in studio art and anthropology from New York University. He currently serves on the board of the Western Museums Association.



The San Jose Museum of Art celebrates new ideas, stimulates creativity, and inspires connection with every visit. Welcoming and thought-provoking, the Museum rejects stuffiness and delights visitors with its surprising and playful perspective on the art and artists of our time.

The San Jose Museum of Art is located at 110 South Market Street in downtown San Jose, California. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 PM to 5 PM and until 8 PM or later on the third Thursday of each month. For more information, call 408.271.6840 or visit

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Programs at the San Jose Museum of Art are made possible by generous operating support from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, Yvonne and Mike Nevens, the Lipman Family Foundation, and a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San Jose.