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Ira Wagner will be the interim director at MAM. COURTESY MONTCLAIR ART MUSEUM

The Montclair Art Museum has announced that Ira Wagner has been appointed interim director. Wagner began his tenure on Monday, May 18. 

Current Director Lora Urbanelli will stay on as an adviser through June, when she will begin her planned retirement

The museum writes in a release: “The board had been in the search process for a new director when the COVID-19 crisis struck and forced the museum to operate on a ‘virtual’ basis for its exhibits and educational programs. During this time of uncertainty, the board felt it best to put that process on temporary hold and name an interim director who has a deep understanding of the institution and strong relationships with both its staff and board.

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READ: IN BRIEF: MONTCLAIR ART MUSEUM ACCREDITED

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“A Montclair resident for over 30 years, Ira Wagner earned an MBA from the Wharton School in 1981 and worked in finance for 25 years. He became i

nvolved with the museum in 2002, when he joined the board of trustees as co-chair, and eventually chair, of the finance committee.

“Deciding to pursue his love of art, Wagner enrolled at the University of Hartford and earned an MFA in photography in 2013 and has been teaching photography at Monmouth University and working as an artist. After stepping down from the board in 2016, Wagner was hired as a senior staff member, working with department directors to improve and implement many of the museum’s programs and initiatives. 

“Since the issuance by Governor Murphy of his emergency orders on March 16, MAM has been working hard to create engaging digital content to stay connected to its community. The museum now offers content such as virtual exhibition tours, podcasts, and Cyber Studio, and will launch its first Yard School of Art virtual art classes this month and Virtual SummerArt in late June.”

For more information visit montclairartmuseum.org.