The Board of Trustees of Telfair Museums announced the unanimous appointment of Cathy Edel Solomons as the museum’s interim director while it undertakes a national search for the next director of the institution.
Solomons will officially start following the conclusion of the Telfair’s Annual Meeting on May 19 and will oversee the day-today operations of the museum. Solomons is currently the Chairman of Telfair Museums Board of Trustees until May 19 at which time her term will expire and she will start her role as interim director.
“We are fortunate to have someone within our board as qualified as Cathy to lead the institution and assure that the Telfair’s programs and operations continue to run smoothly,” said Mills Fleming, Telfair Museums Trustee and Chair Elect. “Cathy’s in-depth knowledge and experience with the museum will make this a natural transition. She is a person of the highest integrity, judgment and ability. We thank her for generously agreeing to fill this important volunteer role. This is exactly the right thing for the institution at this point.”
Solomons has a decades-long history of giving tirelessly of herself as a community volunteer, focusing her efforts on education and the arts. She currently sits on the board of many community organizations including the Savannah College of Art and Design Advisory Board. She is a past board member of Savannah Junior League, Congregation Mickve Israel, and Savannah Arts Commission. Solomons has been active in the Telfair for many years and has served two terms on the board of Trustees as well as serving as chair of the museum’s major fundraising event, the Telfair Ball in 2000. She was the Director of Cultural Affairs Department Leisure Services Bureau for the City of Savannah from 1978- 1982. Solomons majored in art education at the University of Georgia, and is a graduate of Savannah Country Day School.
“It is an honor to be asked to lead the institution at this time, and I look for- ward to the work ahead,” said Solomons. “Right now my job is to provide interim support for the staff, board and the community. I intend to work very hard to continue the wonderful momentum Steven and his staff have initiated.”
The Telfair also announced that the Board search committee, chaired by Cheri Roach, retired executive and Telfair Museums Trustee 1994-2000 and 2009- present, has hired Museum Search & Reference to conduct the search for a new director to succeed Steven High, who will assume his new position of Director of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida on June 1, 2011.
The search committee consists of eight trustees with a distinguished array of public and private sector experience, representing all aspects of the Telfair’s interests, including members who have been on the board for more than a decade, newer trustees, and trustees who have a deep and significant involvement with other museums and cultural organization boards.
In addition to Cheri Roach, the trustees on the search committee, in alphabetical order, are: Chip Compton, Senior Vice President Wells Fargo Insurance Services, Inc. and Telfair Board Member 1987- 1993 (President 1990-1992) and May 2011; Mills Fleming, Partner at Hunter Maclean and current Telfair Board Chair elect; Alice Jepson, Volunteer and Philanthropist and Telfair Board Member since 2007; Bill Lattimore, President, Chairman and CEO of the Lattimore Group and Telfair Board Member since 2008; Tammie Mosley, Senior Staff Attorney for the Superior Court of Chatham County and Telfair Board Member since 2011; Paul Pressly, Educator and Telfair Board Member since 2004; and Cathy Solomons, Telfair Board Member since 2007, current Telfair Board Chairman and interim director designee.
Telfair Museums, the oldest public art museum in the South, maintains a permanent collection of approximately 4,000 works of art from America and Europe, dating primarily from the 18th-21st centuries.
The Telfair consists of three architecturally-significant buildings consisting of the Telfair Academy and the Owens-Thomas House—two circa 1820 National Historic Landmark buildings—and the contemporary Jepson Center which opened in 2006.