Columbia Museum of Art – Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia Museum of Art
Columbia, South Carolina
Executive Director

Columbia Museum of Art


Columbia Museum of Art had experienced 12 transformative years under the previous director, whom we had placed. She was enticed by the offer of a highly interesting career change and we were engaged to find her successor.

The Museum had grown into the award-winning, vibrant cultural jewel of the newly revived downtown in Columbia. The Search Committee was ready for a director with the professional, programming and community relations skills to expand the accessibility of the Museum for the region’s changing and widening populations.


The Museum’s reputation and the cultural richness of the region were well known in the art world. We placed ads on the industry job boards and broadcast the position to our contacts in the field. A number of highly qualified candidates were attracted and interviewed by the Search Committee. The recommendation of a respected leader in the museum world produced the finalist. The Search Committee was delighted to choose Della Watkins, who arrived at CMA from her position as Director of the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Virginia. Previously, Della held successively more responsible positions in museum education over 16 years at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Della jumped in full-throttle to complete a major renovation and reopening of the Museum and develop new imaginative programming, signaling the opening of the doors wide to the community and the region.