Winterthur Program in American Material Culture

Charles L. Venable, Class of 1986
Director and CEO of The Speed Art Museum

Dr. Venable is the Director and CEO of The Speed Art Museum, Kentucky’s premier art museum and also the leading repository of decorative arts made and used in Kentucky during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Before coming to Louisville, Venable served for five years (2002-2007) as Deputy Director for Collections and Programs at The Cleveland Museum of Art. From 1986 to 2002, Venable was at the Dallas Museum of Art, rising from the rank of Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts to that of Deputy Director. A native Texan, Venable holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Boston University, an M.A. from the University of Delaware’s Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, and a B.A. in American History and Art History, from Rice University. His publications include the award-winning American Furniture in the Bybee Collection (1989) and Silver in America, 1840-1940: A Century of Splendor (1994). His last major work, China and Glass in America, 1880-1980 (2000), was highly acclaimed for its accessible style and scholarly contribution to the decorative arts field.