Susan Krane Stepping down as Executive Director of SJMA

Release date 
Monday, January 23, 2017

Press contact: Sherrill Ingalls, 408-271-6872 or

SAN JOSE, California (January 23, 2017)— The San Jose Museum of Art announced that Susan Krane will step down as Oshman Executive Director on January 31, 2017. Krane, who joined SJMA in 2008, will be focusing on several personal research and writing projects, including her longstanding interest in creative modes of community engagement in contemporary art museums. Krane will leave the Museum with the ambitious strategic plan launched in 2010 completed, a stable financial base, and a strong staff in place. SJMA will seek new leadership to drive the next strategic plan for the institution. 

“The board is very grateful to Susan for the tremendous accomplishments the Museum has achieved during her tenure,” said Hildy Shandell, president of SJMA’s board of trustees of SJMA. “Susan joined SJMA as the great recession hit in 2008. During a challenging time for arts institutions, her fiscal discipline helped keep the Museum financially sound, while—even in lean times—enabling the Museum to creatively expand its public programming, grow the permanent collection in both size and stature, and present ambitious exhibitions that reflect the diversity, intelligence, and excitement of the Silicon Valley community.”

Under Krane’s leadership, SJMA co-organized nationally touring exhibitions including the first museum exhibition devoted to the work of Leo Villareal in 2010 (curated by JoAnne Northrup; catalogue published by Hatje Cantz); Dive Deep: Eric Fischl and the Process of Painting in 2012 (co-curated by Harry Philbrick and Jodi Throckmorton; catalogue published by Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts); Postdate: Photography and Inherited History in India in 2015 (curated by Jodi Throckmorton; catalogue published by University of California Press), and the critically acclaimed Border Cantos: Richard Misrach Guillermo Galindo (curated by Rory Padeken), named one of the top ten art events of 2016 by the Mercury News. In recent years, SJMA presented exhibitions that represent the diversity of San Jose and Silicon Valley. For example, the exhibition series “New Stories from the Edge of Asia,” launched in 2010, featured work by artists from Pacific Rim countries and cultures who push the boundaries of narrative using experimental animation, video, film, gaming, and interactive technologies. The most recent exhibition in that series, Tabaimo: Her Room (2016, curated by Rory Padeken), was the first major US museum exhibition devoted to the acclaimed Japanese artist. 

Krane has curated several exhibitions at SJMA, including Your Mind, This Moment, art and the practice of attention, an experimental exhibition that brings together the increasingly popular interest in mindfulness practices with the process of looking at art. Your Mind This Moment will be on view at SJMA February 17 – August 27, 2017.

SJMA is also the leading provider of arts education in Santa Clara County, serving more than 44,000 schoolchildren each year. During Krane’s tenure the Museum launched its award-winning, flagship STEAM education program Sowing Creativity. 

Susan Sayre Batton, deputy director of curatorial affairs, will serve as interim director while a nationwide search for a new executive director is conducted.



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 Museum serves more than 100,000 people through its exhibitions, public programs, and on- and off-site education programs.

SJMA’s special exhibitions focus on modern and contemporary art. Widely recognized around the country as a stellar showcase for California artists, the Museum presents an array of exhibitions that examine the interface of art and new technologies, themes of current interest to the general public, or the master artists of our time. 

The Museum’s burgeoning permanent collection includes over 2,500 modern and contemporary works of art: paintings, sculpture, installation, new media, photography, drawings, prints, and artists’ books. Widely known for supporting California artists, SJMA has earned a reputation for acquiring pivotal artists early in their careers. As part of the strategic plan, the Museum has expanded the focus of its collection to reflect the high-tech interests, dynamic cultural diversity, and international scope of its communities. Since 2008 SJMA has acquired more than 450 artworks, including significant gifts from notable private collections such as the Lipman Family Foundation, Drew and Katie Gibson, Barbara and Dixon Farley, and J. Michael Bewley. Highlights include works by Robert Arneson, Jay DeFeo, Richard Diebenkorn, Willem de Kooning, Katy Grannan, Eric Fischl, Doug Hall, Tim Hawkinson, David Levinthal, Markus Linnenbrink, Frank Lobdell, Ranu Mukherjee, Louise Nevelson, Catherine Opie, Bill Owens, Alan Rath, Alison Saar, Tam Van Tran, Leo Villareal, and Huang Yan.

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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Background resources:

Biography of Susan Krane

Biography of Susan Sayre Batton