June 22

MOBIA Founding Director, Dr. Ena Heller, to Resign Effective June 30

Dr. Ena Heller has resigned as Executive Director after 15 successful years at the helm of the Museum of Biblical Art. MOBIA Board Chair, Roberta Green Ahmanson, has issued the following statement to MOBIA’s supporters and friends:


16 June 2012

Dear MOBIA supporters and friends,

It was with sorrow and understanding that the Board of the Museum of Biblical Art accepted the resignation of its Founding Executive Director, Dr. Ena Heller, on May 7, effective June 30.

In just 15 years, Dr. Heller took an idea that many culture-watchers thought would never succeed and turned it into a world-class museum whose shows the Times regularly reviews with seriousness and praise. The Wall Street Journal reached the same conclusion, as have radio and television broadcasters and many blogs.

Not only did Dr. Heller’s work win media praise but also it won the respect of her museum peers. From the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., to the University of Virginia Art Museum, the National Gallery in London, the British Museum, and many more, directors and curators have praised MOBIA’s exhibitions.

In 2010, the American Academy of Religion recognized Dr. Heller’s achievement with its prestigious Religion and the Arts Award, which is “presented annually to an artist, performer, critic, curator, or scholar who has made a recent significant contribution to the understanding of the relations among the arts and religions, both for the academy and for a broader public.”

Dr. Heller’s scholarship includes editing and contributing to the volumes Perspectives on Medieval Art: Learning through Looking (2009) and Reluctant Partners: Art and Religion in Dialogue (2004) as well as the exhibition catalogs Tobi Kahn: Sacred Spaces for the 21st Century (2009) and Icons or Portraits? Images of Jesus and Mary from the Collection of Michael Hall (2001).

Dr. Heller has been named the Bruce A. Beal Director of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, Winter Park/Orlando, Florida. At MOBIA, Dr. Heller will become Executive Director Emerita.

The MOBIA board and staff are committed to building on Dr. Heller’s outstanding legacy. We look forward to working with her in a new capacity for many years to come.

Roberta Green Ahmanson, Chair
Museum of Biblical Art

Read the press release for more on Dr. Heller's resignation.