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Eastman House Director Bannon to retire

The director of George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film will retire in one year, on July 31, 2012, the organization announced Friday. Anthony Bannon has been director of the museum since 1996 and his 15-year tenure makes him the longest-standing director in the history of the museum. An international search will begin in coming months and Bannon will assist in the search process, Eastman House officials said.

"I am totally invested in George Eastman House and its wonderful extended family, but I feel it is time," said Bannon, the Ron and Donna Fielding Director. "We have set into place a new and vigorous strategic direction, and it is time for new energy and vision to move that forward.

“I have been saying for years that our forbearers here at George Eastman House wrote the book about the photograph and film as objects worthy of preservation, of care, and of significance. Now it comes to us to share how these work in history and culture and to use them as vehicles that can carry us to any destination we might choose."

During Bannon’s tenure the museum created three post-graduate preservation schools, alliances with museums and universities, collectors clubs in large U.S. cities and many of the most-attended exhibitions in the museum's 64-year history, museum officials said. The museum also digitized its collections and began social-media campaigns to share its collections with the world.

Bannon led an effort to diversify the board of trustees, which now has more of a national focus with many members from outside the Rochester area, museum officials said. He also led creation of collectors clubs in large cities such as New York City and Los Angeles, and has initiated plans for satellite schools in photograph conservation in South Korea and Qatar.

Bannon plans to remain as George Eastman House Senior Scholar, a title appointed by the organization’s board of trustees. He said he plans to continue working in the arts field as speaker, writer and consultant.


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