Charles L. Venable
Class of 1986, The Melvin and Bren Simon Director and CEO, Indianapolis Museum of Art
Dr. Venable is the Director and CEO of The Indianapolis Museum of Art, one of America’s oldest and largest encyclopedic art museums. Before coming to Indianapolis, Venable served for five years as Director of the Speed Art Museum, and prior to that, served another five years as Deputy Director for Collections and Programs at The Cleveland Museum of Art. From 1986 to 2002, Venable was at the Dallas Museum of Art, rising from the rank of Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts to that of Deputy Director. A native Texan, Venable holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Boston University, an M.A. from the University of Delaware’s Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, and a B.A. in American History and Art History, from Rice University. His publications include the award-winning American Furniture in the Bybee Collection (1989) and Silver in America, 1840-1940: A Century of Splendor (1994). His last major work, China and Glass in America, 1880-1980 (2000), was highly acclaimed for its accessible style and scholarly contribution to the decorative arts field.