Arts Management: exceptional program developed by Geri Thomas

by leslierankowfinearts

As the global market continues to expand and explowe, specialists who can manage, install and conserve art collections are increasingly in demand. Managing art collections has become an area of specialization that has emerged and developed in conjunction with the growth and globalization of the market itself.

I  heard rave reviews about an Arts Management Program from a colleague and pal,Mike Quinn, whose judgment I trust. Mike works for Christophe van de Weghe, an impeccable international dealer and a wonderful friend to me.

Thus, Mike is constantly exposed to great art and to great art dealing. Mike is adding to his professional resume by studying for a Certificate in Art Collection Management at New York University’s School of Continuing nad Professional Studies.

I asked Mike to contact Geri Thomas, President of Thomas Associates, Inc., who developed this program in conjunction with NYU and teaches the introductory course in this new program to see if she would be willing to share her information with us for this blog. She said yes!

GERI, YOU ARE THE FOUNDER OF THOMAS & ASSOCIATES, INC., A NEW YORK AND CHICAGO BASED COMPANY THAT SPECIALIZES IN RECRUITMENT, CONSULTING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS IN THE ARTS. PLEASE TELL US ABOUT THE FIRM, HOW IT STARTED AND YOUR MOTIVATION.. IT IS THE FIRST COMPANY OF ITS KIND THAT I AM AWARE OF AND I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW MORE.

I have always been involved in the art field, initially specializing in Chinese art history at college and then working in the museum world for many years in various capacities. My first museum job, as Deputy Director of the Bronx Museum of the Arts, put me on the administrative track as a director, manager, and coordinator rather than a curatorial path. I was on the initial planning team and lived in New Zealand establishing their new national museum, Te Papa, and when I returned to New York, I was appointed the Director of Exhibitions and Collections at the Jewish Museum.

After my involvement for more than 24 years in arts and cultural organizations, I was extremely aware of the lack of agencies that concentrate specifically on job expertise in this field and founded Thomas and Associates, Inc. twelve years ago. We focus on such areas as executive search, strategic planning, organization development, and human resource initiatives for such organizations as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Corning Museum of Glass, the Hudson River Museum and Christie’s.

For instance, when Christie’s moved to its current location at 20 Rockefeller Plaza, we were commissioned to develop an art handling training program for everything from the art handlers’ practices on the loading dock to display and installation teams for all of the auctions that take place.

WHAT A WORTHWHILE BUSINESS, SERVICES WE IN THE ART FIELD TAKE FOR GRANTED,  AND SO NECESSARY AS THE ART MARKET CONTINUES TO EXPAND INTERNATIONALLY IN SO MANY ARENAS. NEXT WEEK I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR THE SPECIFICS ABOUT THE ARTS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM YOU WERE INSPIRED TO DEVELOP.

PLEASE ASK GERI ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROGRAM OR HER COMPANY AND I KNOW SHE WILL ANSWER THEM COMPLETELY AND HELPFULLY.

UNTIL THEN…