The San Antonio Museum of Art announced today that Dr. Katherine Luber has been appointed Kelso Director of the Museum effective July 2011. The announcement is the culmination of a national search to replace former director Dr. Marion Oettinger, Jr., who stepped down to devote himself to serving as full-time curator of the Museum’s Latin American art collection.
“After a comprehensive national search, we have found the ideal person for the job in Dr. Luber,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Karen Hixon. “The Museum is fortunate to have found a person with such a rare combination of skills: a curator with an impressive background in the arts and a commitment to ‘best practices’ in museum management along with the business acumen obtained from having established herself as a successful entrepreneur.”
Luber’s commitment to the arts began during her undergraduate education at Yale University. She received her master’s and doctorate degrees in art history from the University of Texas and Bryn Mawr College respectively. In addition to holding internships at major museums including the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Luber was also a Fulbright Scholar in residence at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.
In 1993, Luber joined the Department of European Paintings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art as a John G. Johnson Curator. The Johnson Collection is one of the largest collections of old master paintings in the world, and includes masterpieces by artists such as Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden. Dr. Luber was a core member of the team responsible for the reinstallation and integration of the Johnson Collection into the collections at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. While in Philadelphia she routinely oversaw the installation of the galleries of 19th century French paintings as well as the reinstallation and mechanical refurbishment of the Paul Cret building which houses the museum’s internationally famous Rodin collection. She was also responsible for researching and installing the museum’s collection of Latin American Colonial paintings. At the Philadelphia Museum of Art she curated numerous exhibitions, including the award-winning Recognizing Van Eyck, Leaves of Gold, and others. She has published widely in the field of Renaissance painting, including a 2005 monograph, Albrecht Dürer and the Venetian Renaissance.
In 2005, after receiving her MBA from the Johns Hopkins University Carey School of Business, Luber launched The Seasoned Palate, Inc., a boutique company that specializes in organic spices sold in one-teaspoon packets that ensure maximum flavor and freshness for the home cook. As founder, president, and CEO of the company, Luber was responsible for developing, launching and marketing two critically acclaimed, award- winning product lines that are sold in more than 300 retail stores across the United States.
“The San Antonio Museum of Art is home to varied and unique collections and treasures that span centuries and cultures,” says Luber. “In some ways it is a mirror of the rich diversity and historical mix of cultures and people unique to San Antonio. I look forward to making sure that SAMA’s collections and programs reach more people, and get the attention they so richly deserve across San Antonio and the nation.” Luber is also anxious to get back to her home state of Texas. “As a fifth-generation Texan, my roots here are deep, and I am very happy to be returning to my home state. My husband, Philip Luber, is an academic psychiatrist and medical educator. Our two children, Jacob, 17, Diana, 15, and he, are looking forward to embracing San Antonio, and making my Texas heritage their own.”
The San Antonio Museum of Art is housed in the historic Lone Star Brewery along the celebrated new Museum Reach section of the beautiful San Antonio River Walk. SAMA’s collection contains more than 25,000 works of art representing over 5,000 years of history and cultures from around the world. The Museum also conducts more than 500-guided tours annually and provides approximately 200 educational programs each year. Programs include lectures, concerts, films, children’s workshops, scholarly symposia, family art activities, and special exhibitions.