Her legacy at the Baltimore Museum of Art will include overseeing a $28 million renovation, establishing free admission, and leading the museum during its centennial.
Doreen Bolger announced today that she is retiring after 17 years as director of the museum, effective June 30. She plans to stay on as an advisor as the board chooses her successor, according to a news release.
Bolger said she was honored to have worked at the BMA. "It is wonderful to leave the museum at such a high point in its history," she said in the release.
"I look forward to the BMA's continued success — and to my own pursuit of projects I feel passionate about, in this community and in the field."
Bolger earned praise throughout Baltimore and nationally for redefining the museum's mission to focus on art of the modern era. She also placed more emphasis on the BMA's permanent collection, developing traveling exhibitions curated by the museum.
"Doreen has transformed the Baltimore Museum of Art into one of the most dynamic and innovating cultural institutions in the country," Christine Anagnos, executive director of the Association for Art Museum Directors, said in the release.
Bolger also helped diversify the museum's audience by eliminating admission fees in 2006, building connections with local artists, and featuring exhibitions of their work.
By this fall, the museum will complete renovations, which started in 2001, to its 210,000 square-foot building with the opening of expanded galleries for African and Asian art and a new learning center.