The Flint Institute of Arts has appointed Tracee J. Glab as its new Executive Director.
Glab, who previously served as the FIA’s Curator of Collections and Exhibitions since 2009, began the role in July. She succeeds John B. Henry, who announced his retirement this year.
“My tenure as curator at the FIA has been the most rewarding part of my museum career, and I look forward to leading the museum into the next chapter,” Glab said. “With its stellar art collection and esteemed Art School in the heart of the Flint Cultural Center, I am excited to build on the strong foundation at the FIA and to engage the public in the arts in new and innovative ways.”
Glab’s knowledge and expertise of art history and visitor engagement are reflected in the breadth of programs and publications she has managed and developed at the FIA. She has overseen more than 100 exhibitions and curated 40 exhibitions, working with the community on such exhibitions as Jerry Taliaferro’s Women of a New Tribe (2017) and Sons: Seeing the Modern African American Male (2022). She has collaborated with other Michigan institutions for Common Ground: African American Art from the Flint Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and Muskegon Museum of Art (2015–16) and with University of Michigan-Flint faculty on Self-Expression (2017). She has worked extensively with contemporary artists, both locally and internationally. Glab has also overseen fifteen publications, contributing to the 50th-anniversary book Magnificence and Awe: Renaissance and Baroque Art in the Viola E. Bray Gallery (2011) among others. Her interests include exploring the ways objects of various time periods and cultures can connect to people thematically, most recently culminating in a lecture on “Beautiful Death.” Prior to her role at the FIA, she worked for 10 years at the Detroit Institute of Arts across many departments, including curatorial, publications, and education. Glab has her MA in Art History from Wayne State University and BA in Art History from University of Michigan-Dearborn.
She previously worked with current DIA director Salvador Salort-Pons, who recommended her for the curator position at the FIA.
“I am very excited about Tracee Glab’s appointment as the next Executive Director of the Flint Institute of Arts,” Salort-Pons said. “She is uniquely equipped to continue building on FIA’s successful history. She will bring a fresh perspective to the work, helping the institution engage with the community in impactful ways to provide access to a world-class education. I know her impressive work ethic and commitment to the arts will serve her well and the DIA looks forward to collaborating with her as we bring the best art to our state.”
Glab was selected after the museum’s board of directors conducted a national search led by m/Oppenheim Executive Search, a search firm specializing in finding candidates for nonprofit leadership roles. She becomes the FIA’s fourteenth director and the first female executive director. Glab is the third woman in the highest level leadership role since Margaret Davis and Mary Brozik led the FIA in the early 1930s.
“After meeting with several talented candidates, we believe Tracee’s knowledge of the FIA and the community, as well as her role in the expansion of the museum and collection as curator made her a perfect fit for the executive director role,” said Thomas Lillie, president of the FIA Board of Trustees. “The FIA is a treasured community asset, and we believe that Tracee’s vision and leadership will help expand membership, attract new visitors, and continue the growth in items in the collection and the artists represented by those works.”
The FIA has grown to become the second largest arts museum in Michigan, with more than 171,000 square feet of space, 25 galleries, state-of-the-art storage facilities, and one of the largest museum art schools in the country. The collection includes nearly 10,000 objects.
Thousands of patrons, art school students, and young people who participate in outreach activities interact with the museum annually. The museum will also celebrate its centennial in six years.
“The FIA has become an internationally recognized and respected institution right in the heart of Flint,” Glab said. “As we approach our 100th anniversary, I am excited to celebrate the amazing legacy of the institution while making the arts and arts education accessible to even more people in our community and beyond in the years to come.”