The Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, was losing its highly-regarded director, who was retiring after 11 years of leading the Museum. He was credited with turning a small institution with a fine diverse collection into one of the most significant cultural centers in an area with a growing national and international arts profile.

The dedicated Board, which had never conducted a professional search, had very high expectations for their next director. The successful candidate would need an art history education, preferably with a PhD, a track record developing successful exhibitions and successful fundraising experience.


The burgeoning museum community in Florida is known among museum executives, and the growing reputation of St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts preceded our calls. Interest was significant. Opportunity Resources recommended five superb prospects for review by the Search Committee. Three candidates were selected for personal interviews, all PhDs with outstanding histories.

The final choice was Kent Lydecker, who spent 18 years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As Associate Director of Education Dr. Lydecker was part of the Met’s senior staff, reporting directly to Philippe de Montebello.

Kent’s impressive success as central planner for the Met’s $75 million state-of-the-art Uris Center of Education resonated powerfully with the Museum of Fine Arts Board. They, and the St. Petersburg MFA community, have been thrilled to have Dr. Lydecker as their new Executive Director.