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K-State Today

April 8, 2022

Linda Duke to retire from Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art

Submitted by Kevin Nalette

Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art Director Linda Duke has announced her retirement, effective May 14. She has been the museum’s director since 2011 and has many notable accomplishments during her tenure.

Under Duke’s leadership, several notable museum initiatives were achieved, including:
• Development of virtual exhibitions and program offerings to reach wider audiences.
• Cross-discipline work with many partners to demonstrate the value of the arts to all.
• The recruitment of thought leaders to the museum’s Advisory Council.
• Partnership with the Gordon Parks Foundation to care for the museum’s two unique Parks photograph collections.
• Participation in the Art Bridges consortium of museums dedicated to making American Art more accessible.

Additionally, clarifying the museum’s financial situation, including implementation of an internal audit and close work with the KSU Foundation has been an important part of Duke’s tenure. 

“Linda’s work with the Beach Museum has been nothing short of extraordinary," said Richard Linton, president of Kansas State University. "She and her team have taken the museum to the next level while enduring the challenges brought on by the pandemic. Her team was able to incorporate virtual exhibits and visits to the museum galleries — a truly innovative approach.”

Duke calls her time as director a privilege and an honor and is fortunate to have worked with dedicated museum staff as well as university and community colleagues.

“I am proudest to have led the museum in its role as a very public face of K-State in two particular ways," Duke said. "The first is its mission as a land grant university with strengths in agricultural research, teaching and service. Second, the museum has frequently demonstrated K-State’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. The role of the arts in making our society more just and compassionate is ongoing and vitally important. I believe the museum is positioned to continue to move this work forward.”

The university will announce a search committee in the coming weeks and conduct a national search for the next director.