Major arts figure in Houston retires, leaving a billion dollar museum legacy

Major arts figure in Houston retires with $1 billion legacy

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Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
News_Gwen Goffe
Gwen Goffe Photo by Jenny Antill
Places-A&E-Museum of Fine Arts, Houston-exterior-1
News_Gwen Goffe

Longtime associate director Gwendolyn Goffe has revealed that she will be retiring from her 25-year tenure at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston at the end June.

Goffe came to the museum in 1988 after serving as a director of finance at the Corcoran Gallery and College of Art in Washington, DC. In the decades that followed, she would help grow an endowment of $98 million to more than $1 billion, making the MFAH one of the richest art institutions in the world.

“As Peter Marzio's longtime trusted deputy, Gwen has very simply made it possible for the Museum to realize its ambitions."

After years of successfully steering the museum from behind the scenes, Goffe suddenly found herself in the public spotlight when the board of trustees appointed her interim director in 2011 following the death of MFAH director Peter Marzio.

“I know that everyone at the MFAH, and countless others who have worked with Gwen over the past two-and-a-half decades, will join me in thanking her for her extraordinary contributions,” director Gary Tinterow, who started at the museum in early 2012, said in a statement.

“As Peter Marzio’s longtime trusted deputy, and as an invaluable advisor and resource to me following my arrival, Gwen has very simply made it possible for the museum to realize its ambitions: through her business leadership, her sound counsel and her civic standing.”

After she formally leaves her post this summer, Goffe will remain with the museum as a consultant to help oversee the MFAH's campus expansion projects, including a new contemporary art gallery designed by award-winning architect Steven Holl.

“I treasure my years at the museum and having worked with some of the most talented professionals anywhere in the world," she noted in a statement. "Thank you to one and all for the opportunity to be a part of the history of such a great institution.”