Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Announces the Election of George Frederick Mead Merck as Board Chair

By the Archives
March 1, 2022
Photograph of a man smiling with dark hair. He is wearing a suit with tie.

George Frederick Mead Merck

The Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, is pleased to announce the election of George Frederick Mead Merck as the new chair of the Archives’ Board of Trustees, effective March 1, 2022.  Merck will succeed Bridget Moore, who served as chair of the board since October 2018 and has been named trustee emerita, also effective March 1.

“I am delighted that George Merck has stepped into this leadership role,” said Liza Kirwin, interim director of the Archives of American Art, “his passion for our mission and for the history of American art will guide us as we expand our world-class collections and broaden our programming to serve all who seek to understand America through the lens of its art and artists.”

An active art collector with a focus on West Coast minimalism, Merck joined the Archives’ board in 2017 and has served as chair of the Archives’ gala planning committee, orchestrating two of the Archives of American Art’s most successful annual galas. He has also been instrumental in increasing engagement with a younger generation of philanthropists. Merck is a founding member of RODE0 production house. In 2019, he co-produced the film 'Giants Being Lonely' which debuted at the Venice Film Festival in contention for the Orizzonti Prize. Merck holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Southern Methodist University.

“It is an honor to accept this role. I am grateful to our outgoing chair, Bridget Moore, for her incredible leadership. I look forward to continuing the growth and impact of the Archives in as many areas as possible," said Merck.

The Archives of American Art Board of Trustees

The Archives is governed by an advisory board of trustees and directed by Liza Kirwin. As of March 1, 2022, the Archives of American Art Board of Trustees includes ex officio members Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Lonnie G. Bunch III, Smithsonian Under Secretary for Museums & Culture Kevin Gover, as well as private members George Merck, Chair; Deborah Schmidt Robinson, Vice Chair; Susan I. Johnson, Secretary; Amy Bermingham; Virginia G. Bobins; Tony Cummings; Susan Dunne; Leslie J. Garfield; Karen Z. Gray-Krehbiel; Julia Gruen; Bennie F. Johnson; Evelyn Day Lasry; Alexandra May; Amanda Quinn Olivar; Dr. Michael Stubblefield; Diana Wege; Migs Wright; Amy Zinck; and trustees emeriti Max N. Berry, Esq.; Barbara G. Fleischman; Martha J. Fleischman; Dona S. Kendall; Richard A. Manoogian; Frank Martucci; Bridget Moore; Nancy Brown Negley; and Janice C. Oresman.

About the Archives of American Art

Founded in 1954, the Archives of American Art fosters advanced research through the accumulation and dissemination of primary sources, unequaled in historical depth and breadth, that document more than 200 years of the nation’s artists and art communities. The Archives provides access to these materials through its two research centers, exhibitions, and publications, including the Archives of American Art Journal, the longest-running scholarly journal in the field of American art. An international leader in the digitization of archival collections, the Archives also makes more than three million images freely available online. The oral history collection includes more than 2,500 audio interviews, the largest accumulation of in-depth, first-person accounts of the American art world. Visit the Archives’ website at

Media Contact: Sarah Bohannan | Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution |