Art Institute Names New Marketing Director

CHICAGO (CBS) — Last summer, the Art Institute of Chicago named a new president. Now it has a new marketing chief as well.

WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger has been talking with Gordon Montgomery about joining the city’s signature art museum.

Douglas Druick took over as museum president in August. Now, Montgomery has been brought on to expand the Art Institute’s customer base.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

Montgomery comes to the Art Institute from Homemade Pizza Company. He’s also worked to market brands such as Procter & Gamble and Motorola.

Whether you’re selling toothpaste, computer chips or art, Montgomery said selling is selling.

“What I’m there to do is to help them understand who are their customers,” Montgomery said.

By far, the majority of Art Institute customers are tourists, according to Montgomery.

“About a quarter of the people who come here are from Chicago and that might be less than what people might imagine, but I think that’s one of the big areas of opportunity,” Montgomery said.

Among his challenges is figuring out how to get those who live in the Chicago area to keep coming back.

“In some ways, the Art Institute is even getting younger, so that’s a really interesting point of encouragement in terms of how to take, you know, a newer audience and work with them to continue to help make the place more relevant and more accessible,” he said.

More from Regine Schlesinger
  • Bernie

    The Art Institute needs help for sure….TRUE STORY:
    Acting as an attorney for an older woman I was asked to give on her behalf a gift of $1500 with the condition that the A I have someone pick it up from her hand and thank her for the gift.
    In the past she had given many gifts to the A I.
    I called the A I a couple of times and they assured me they would send someone.
    I never heard from them again…my client died…no money to the
    A I.
    Her heirs laughed at that story as i did.

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