Kimerly Rorschach

Kimerly Rorschach

Kimerly Rorschach


Former Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director and CEO, Seattle Art Museum

Kimerly Rorschach joined the Seattle Art Museum as the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director and CEO in November of 2012 and retired in 2019. Under her leadership, the museum’s operations, artistic and educational programs thrived. She led SAM’s development of a three year strategic plan that builds on the achievements of SAM’s massive 2007 expansion, which resulted in three unique sites for SAM: downtown’s flagship Museum, the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park, and the Olympic Sculpture Park located on the waterfront. During her tenure, the museum has organized major exhibitions and important acquisitions have been added to SAM’s global collection. Rorschach was also instrumental in organizing Miró: The Experience of Seeing, a collaboration with the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, which was on view at SAM in spring of 2014 and now on tour in the U.S.

Prior to SAM, Rorschach served as the Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Under her direction, the Nasher Museum opened to the public in 2005 and quickly built a dynamic program focusing on modern and contemporary art and service to the university and broader community, and attained a reputation as a leading university art museum. Rorschach established the museum as the cornerstone for the arts at Duke. She chaired Duke's Council on the Arts, working to promote the arts as one of five priorities in the university's strategic plan.

In prior roles, Rorschach was the Dana Feitler Director of the University of Chicago's David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art for 10 years and has held curatorial positions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia.

Rorschach is a past president of the Association of Art Museum Directors. In addition, she is a Trustee with the American Federation of Arts, New York, and serves on the Board of Advisors for the Center for Curatorial Leadership (founded by Agnes Gund). She has edited and written for numerous catalogues, journals and news publications.

Rorschach was a Fulbright Scholar, holds a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University and earned a B.A. from Brandeis University.