Kai Blake Lewis
(Buffalo, N.Y.) – Dr. Anthony Bannon, director of the Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State, says he plans to retire later this year.
The two-time director plans to step down from the job July 1, which happens to be around the same time as the Burchfield’s 50th anniversary celebration.
“I couldn’t imagine a better exit line. We will have completed this anniversary year with gratifying public response to our series of events, so I figured I should take this opportunity to step down on an institutional high,” said Bannon, in a Buffalo State press release.
Bannon had previously attempted to retire in 2012 from his position as director of the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, N.Y., which is an international museum dedicated to photography and film.
Bannon served as director of the Eastman Museum for 16 years, making him the longest serving director in its history.
However, he was asked to return to the Burchfield Penney, where he previously served as director from 1985 to 1996.
“This five-year run as director has been a gift; working with such a diverse, hospitable, energized and intellectually accomplished staff and a remarkably committed group of trustees,” said Bannon.
“His wonderful leadership has raised the profile of the Burchfield Penney and expanded the reach of the center through a number of new community partnerships and education programs,”said Dr. Katherine Conway-Turner, president of Buffalo State, in a press release.
The art center’s trustees plan to appoint an interim director while they conduct a national search for a new leader.
Bannon will be honored at the Burchfield Penney’s art Auction and Gala on Saturday, June 17.