Smith was appointed director of TMA in 2008 and oversaw the expansion of the museum into a new 66,000-square foot, $34 million building designed by architect Stanley Saitowitz. The announcement of his departure comes on the eve of the debut of two of the museum’s most ambitious exhibitions in recent years — My Generation: Young Chinese Artists, which will extend across galleries at TMA as well as the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg (opening June 7), and Poseidon and the Sea: Myth, Cult and Daily Life, an ambitious display of classical antiquities (opening June 14).
At OCMA, Smith will supervise a staff that includes noted curator Dan Cameron, who served as the California museum’s interim director during its search for a new chief executive. OCMA is scheduled to construct a new $60 million facility — a project that was delayed and downsized in 2011 — within the next several years.
Smith will remain at TMA until July 3; his move to OCMA takes effect on Aug. 4. Seth Pevnick, TMA's chief curator, has been named acting director while the museum undertakes a national search for Smith's replacement.
Via a press release, TMA board chair Debra Williams McDaniel noted that paid attendance and donor contributions to the museum increased by more than 146 percent during Smith's tenure.
“It is a bittersweet moment for our Board to bid farewell to Todd after leading our Museum so well for nearly six years," she said. "During his tenure, he has built a very strong institution that has become known for its outstanding program of exhibitions, accessibility for all and fiscal health. Todd has taken us to new heights as a regional art museum, and we are proud of the gains we made together due to his immeasurable talent, hard work and dedication.”