Ithaka S+R’s inaugural Art Museum Director Survey
was developed in partnership with the American Alliance of Museums
(AAM) and the Association of Art Museum Directors
(AAMD). Sponsored by the Kress Foundation and modeled on Ithaka S+R’s triennial National Library Director survey, the 2020 survey was launched in the winter of 2020 and closed in March, on the eve of the COVID-19 pandemic and other defining events of 2020. Ithaka S+R was fortunate to have secured enough responses by then to provide a snapshot of the perspectives of directors immediately preceding this transition to a changed world. This data reveals the state of the field as it entered into a crisis, and the 2020 survey constitutes a benchmark and provides evidence of the perspectives of art museum directors immediately preceding COVID-19. Though more research is needed to understand how these perspectives have changed over the last several months, the survey will allow Ithaka S+R to iteratively measure change over the years as our institutions continue to adapt to new social and environmental challenges.