McNay Art Museum Director and CEO Dr. Richard Aste Plans to Step Down

by Jessica Fuentes June 3, 2022

The McNay Art Museum announced today that Director and CEO Dr. Richard Aste will depart the museum in January 2023. Dr. Aste will stay on after his employment contract is complete this fall in order to allow ample time for the Board to identify a successor.

A photograph of Dr. Richard Aste. He wears a dark suit and light blue button-up shirt with a pastel plaid tie. He looks off to the right and smiles gently.

Dr. Richard Aste. Photo credit: Josh Huskin

September will mark Dr. Aste’s sixth year as the McNay’s director. During his time at the institution, he helped increase the visibility of historically underrepresented communities both in the collection and through temporary exhibitions, and he worked to increase the diversity of the museum’s staff, including at the leadership level. Dr. Aste also implemented a sustainable business model that resulted in four years of surpluses, secured funding from major foundations, created a strategic plan that extends to 2024, and completed a $6 million landscape project.

In a press release announcing his departure, Dr. Aste stated, “I am so proud of everything we have accomplished here. By creating inclusive art experiences with and for our community, the McNay reflects San Antonio’s rich diversity across the entire campus. I will forever admire the Museum’s brilliant, dedicated Board and staff, and I look forward to sharing all our learnings with leaders across the country.”

Dr. Aste will join the executive coaching team at the University of California, Irvine and will launch his own coaching practice on the West Coast. He will also join his partner of ten years, Max Goodman in LA. 

Don Frost, McNay President of the Board of Trustees remarked, “The Board was saddened but supportive and accepting of Rich’s decision. The positive impact he has had on the Museum and the community is immeasurable. Rich has greatly advanced our mission and vision. And thanks to a strong Board, leadership team, and staff, the McNay is positioned for a successful next chapter.”

McNay Board Vice President, Amy Stieren, and McNay Trustee Darryl Byrd will co-chair the search for the next director. The Board is working with Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm with forty years of experience working with arts and cultural and educational organizations. 

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