Katie Luber, Director, San Antonio Museum of Art speaks at the VIA VIVA bus milestone 1 Million Trips celebration on July 2, 2019.
San Antonio Museum of Art Director Katie Luber is leaving San Antonio to become director and president of the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA). Credit: Stephanie Marquez / San Antonio Report

San Antonio Museum of Art Director Katie Luber has accepted a position as director and president of the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA).

Luber has led the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) since 2011. The Fort Worth native, Renaissance scholar, and well-regarded curator will take the helm of the 136-year-old Minneapolis institution beginning in January 2020, according to an MIA announcement.

Luber will continue at SAMA through Oct. 19. In a note to museum supporters, Luber wrote, “With deepest gratitude for all you have done for me, I trust our friendship will continue despite my move to a far colder clime!”

She did not immediately return requests for comment Tuesday night.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Luber was hired not only for her museum leadership experience, but also for her entrepreneurial experience – important for a major museum embarking on a capital improvement and expansion campaign, as reported in the New York Times.

Earlier in her career, after completing an MBA degree at Johns Hopkins University, Luber co-founded an organic spice company in Baltimore called The Seasoned Palate. She later penned two cookbooks, including The Spice Kitchen: Everyday Cooking with Organic Spices,with co-founder Sara Engram.

Her scholarship also produced a 2005 book, Albrecht Dürer and the Venetian Renaissance.

As the Times noted, Luber is one of the few women to run a major museum. In a city of 3.5 million, the MIA attracts 700,000 visitors annually compared to 132,000 for SAMA, according to the Star Tribune. The MIA has an annual budget of $35 million, more than three times the budget of SAMA.

In San Antonio, Luber embarked on her own master plan for expanding on the SAMA campus, as well as mounting major exhibitions, including the Tricentennial exhibition Spain: 500 Years of Spanish Painting from the Museums of Madrid, during which SAMA hosted the King and Queen of Spain.

The Spain exhibition drew notice in the Times, and the recent acquisition of a Taihu scholar’s rock from Wuxi, China, one of San Antonio’s sister cities, was chronicled in The Art Newspaper. She is credited in the Times with more than doubling SAMA attendance and membership during her eight-year tenure.

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Nicholas Frank

Senior Reporter Nicholas Frank moved from Milwaukee to San Antonio following a 2017 Artpace residency. Prior to that he taught college fine arts, curated a university contemporary art program, toured with...