Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Board of Trustees Announces the Retirement of Director Dr. Marla Price

Marla Price

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Board of Trustees announces the retirement of Dr. Marla Price concluding a tenure spanning over 30 years at the Museum. 

“Marla elevated the Museum to international prominence through relationships she formed with respected museum partners and world-renowned artists, presenting critically acclaimed exhibitions, and acquiring key works for the permanent collection. She was instrumental in creating what ArtForum, in 2002, called “the most elegant museum in the entire country.” With her leadership, the Modern has become an outstanding star on a national and international scale, while the mission has grown to be an inclusive community space for people to engage on different levels with the art of our time,” remarks Board Chair Marsland Moncrief.

Dr. Price was a member of the Building Committee that oversaw the planning and construction of the Modern’s iconic building, designed by Tadao Ando and completed in 2002. This transformative project was a catalyst for growth in the Cultural District and has had a lasting impact on Fort Worth’s cultural landscape. Under her direction, the Museum budget grew fivefold, yearly attendance grew well over 100%, and permanent endowments were established for programs and building maintenance. She nurtured a skilled and dedicated staff, many serving with her for more than 20 years. 

“On behalf of the Board, we extend our sincere gratitude to Marla for her profound effect on the Museum during decades of transformational growth, marked by legacy milestones including the completion of the Modern’s building and the growth and quality of the permanent collection. Her artistic vision and commitment to scholarly excellence have cultivated a robust organization with devoted, longstanding supporters and staff. We honor Marla’s impressive career and generational impact and acknowledge her invaluable guidance, which has positioned the Modern well for continued success,” said Board President Rafael Garza.

Price served through milestones including the centennial of the 1892 charter for the Museum and the 20th anniversary of the Ando building opening. She organized major exhibitions, including David Bates: Forty Paintings (1988); 10 + 10: Contemporary Soviet and American Painters (1989); George Segal: Still Lifes and Related Works (1990); Milton Avery: Works from the 1950s (1990); Antony Gormley: Field and Other Figures (1991); Sean Scully: The Catherine Paintings (1993); Howard Hodgkin: Paintings, 1975–1995 (1996); and David Bates (2014).

She has written extensively for exhibition catalogues for artists Milton Avery, David Bates, and Sean Scully as well as organizing and editing the catalogue raisonné of artist Howard Hodgkin and an extended Sean Scully catalogue raisonné project.

Through her adept cultivation of relationships with key stakeholders, and with her industry knowledge and expertise, Dr. Price has contributed significantly to the growth of the Modern’s permanent collection. She has facilitated the acquisition of many remarkable works, some of which would have been deemed inaccessible otherwise. Noteworthy acquisitions made under Dr. Price’s leadership include Francis Bacon’s first self-portrait, a large and important group of works by Sean Scully, and a Mark Rothko painting bequeathed to the Modern by the late Anne Windfohr Marion. Her first acquisition as director in 1991 was Cabin Fever, 1976, by American painter Susan Rothenberg. 

Under Dr. Price’s direction, the Modern collaborated with many museums as organizing partners in international traveling exhibitions including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Central Exhibition Hall, Leningrad; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Milwaukee Art Museum; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; State Picture Gallery of Georgia, Tbilisi; The Royal Academy, London; Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. 

She built strong relationships with neighboring museums and cultural organizations in Fort Worth and Dallas to organize exhibitions and coordinate programming including cohosting exhibitions with the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center. With the exceptional spaces in the Ando building, the Modern is a resource for many performing arts organizations including Amphibian Stage, the Cliburn, Fort Worth Opera, Texas Ballet Theater, and many more.

Price plans to step down in 2024 after a new director is hired. The Board of Trustees has begun an international search led by Search Committee Chair Kim Darden and Koya Partners.



Marla Price is originally from Richmond, Virginia. She received a BA with Honors from Mary Washington College and a PhD in Art History from the University of Virginia, with a dissertation on the American painter Milton Avery.

She served as Associate Curator of Twentieth-Century Art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Price joined the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth as Chief Curator in 1986. She was appointed Acting Director of the Museum in April 1991 and was named Director in January 1992.