Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

Marc Mayer becomes the new Director and Chief Executive Officer

Ottawa - December 9, 2008

Marc Mayer has been named Director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada effective January 19, 2009.

Following a competitive search across North America and abroad, the National Gallery of Canada Search Committee selected Marc Mayer to succeed Pierre Théberge. Mr. Mayer comes from the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Canada’s premier contemporary Art Museum.

Mr. Mayer was the unanimous choice of the NGC Search Committee. His nomination was strongly supported by the full Board and received Government approval today. “Our Board and staff are excited to welcome Marc Mayer to the Gallery and look forward to continuing to build on our outreach initiatives and successes,” stated Donald Sobey, Chair of the NGC Board of Trustees. “His strong planning and team management abilities along with his human relations skills and his passion for and knowledge of the national and international art scene, will be tremendous assets in his new position as Director. These are exciting times for the National Gallery of Canada and Marc will be a strong leader for the institution.“ 

Marc Mayer was born in Sudbury, Ontario in 1956. A graduate of McGill University where he studied art history, he has held many influential positions on the International art scene. He is currently Director of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. 

In accepting the new position, Marc Mayer commented: “I am very proud to have been selected to lead Canada’s premier art museum and honoured by the opportunity that has been given to me. I look forward to working with the Gallery’s Board of Trustees and talented staff. Together we will build on the Gallery’s traditions of scholarship and outreach to ensure that our diverse audiences continue to feel welcomed, challenged, and inspired.” 

Marc Mayer’s career began in earnest when in 1986 he was named Assistant to the Director and then Assistant Director of the 49th Parallel Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art in New York, a position he held from 1986 to 1990. From 1990 to 1993, he was Head of Visual Arts with the Cultural Services of the Canadian Embassy in Paris and was a correspondent for the New York periodical Rizzoli’s The Journal of Art. After that, from 1994 to 1998, he served as curator at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. Mr. Mayer was Director of the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto from 1998 to 2001 and Deputy Director for Art at the Brooklyn Museum from 2001 to 2004. 

In 2004, he became the eighth Director of the Musée d’art contemporain in Montreal. He has organized more than 30 exhibitions by Quebec, Canadian and international artists in the museums and art centres where he has worked in Canada, the United States and Europe. Throughout his career, Mr. Mayer has continued to distinguish himself with his vast knowledge of contemporary Canadian and international art. His leadership style, outstanding intellectual capabilities and energy have been recognized wherever he has served in galleries and museums in Canada and abroad. Mr. Mayer is fully bilingual and is proficient in German and Italian.

Visit www.gallery.ca/director to learn more about the new Director. The site includes a full biography and photographs.

The Search Committee, which was formed in March 2008 to begin the process of selecting a new director for the National Gallery of Canada included Donald Sobey, Michael Audain, Mandeep (Roshi) Chadha, Fred S. Fountain, Sandra D. Pitblado, Michael Tims and some advisors.


About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art in the world. In addition, it has pre-eminent collections of Indigenous, Western and European Art from the 14th to the 21st century, American and Asian Art as well as drawings and photographs. Created in 1880, it is among the oldest of Canada’s national cultural institutions. As part of its mandate to make Canadian art accessible across the country, the NGC has one of the largest touring art exhibition programs in North America. For more information, visit http://www.gallery.ca/.

About the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography
The Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography is an affiliate of the National Gallery of Canada. Its collection comprises over 161,000 images (17,000 photographic works and 144,000 negatives and transparencies), and has been developed through purchases, assignments and donations of the best documentary and art photography by Canadian photographers. The variety and range of its collection make CMCP a unique institution in Canada and one of only a few national museums devoted exclusively to photography in the world. For more information, visit http://cmcp.gallery.ca/.

– 30 –

For more information, please contact:

Joanne Charette
Director of Public Affairs
National Gallery of Canada