A solid round of applause welcomed Frances Levine as she entered the meeting that finalized her presidency of the Missouri History Museum on Tuesday. Shortly afterward, she also received kudos from her home in Santa Fe, where she’s been director of the New Mexico History Museum for more than 10 years.
Levine, 63, will become not only the first woman to lead the museum but the first woman to head any institution of the St. Louis Zoo-Museum District. Her contract was approved this morning in a meeting of the museum's board of trustees and members of the ZMD museum subdistrict.
The Missouri History Museum could name a new president early next month after narrowing the field of Bob Archibald's possible successors to two candidates.
In a Monday meeting of the board of trustees, board chairman John Roberts announced that the museum plans to bring each candidate to St. Louis just after the new year. The week of Jan. 6 is under consideration if the prospects are available. No further information about the candidates was revealed.
Commissioners of the Zoo-Museum District, on September 30, voted to raise the property tax rate that funds five St. Louis cultural institutions to the highest level permitted by state law. Those institutions are the St. Louis Zoo, the Missouri Botanical Garden, Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Science Center and Missouri History Museum.
At least one member of the public board that oversees the five cultural institutions in the Zoo-Museum District in St. Louis says it's time to think about charging some visitors to enter the St. Louis Zoo, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis Science Center, St. Louis Art Museum and the Missouri History Museum.
A former senior vice president of St. Louis-based technology company Emerson has been tapped as the temporary leader of the Missouri History Museum post.
Bob Cox will serve as a part-time consultant to the museum until December 31, though the contract can be terminated early if a full-time president is found before then. Cox will receive $85 an hour for his work, but is not eligible for health care or other benefits.
Updated at 8:00 p.m. with statement from Missouri History Museum.
The prosecutor in the city of St. Louis will look into some of the governance and oversight issues plaguing the Missouri History Museum.
"Upon request, we have agreed to review concerns brought to the St. Louis Board of Aldermen in connection with the Missouri History Museum. At this point, it would be inappropriate to discuss this matter further," Jennifer Joyce said in an written statement.