WASHINGTON -- The National Gallery of Art has appointed its first woman director in its 77-year history to lead the institution.

Kaywin Feldman’s appointment was announced on Dec. 11. She will be the fifth director, succeeding Earl A. Powell III, who has served as the director since 1992.

According to a statement by the Gallery, Feldman comes from the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), where she currently serves as the Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President.

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She has been credited with encouraging more community dialogue in Minneapolis, bringing about free admission, and championing digital technology in showcasing art. While at Mia, the Gallery says she established a contemporary art unit, showcased art from Africa, and created a Center for Empathy and the Visual Arts. Additionally, its Japanese collection more than doubled in size.

Attendance has doubled at the Mia under Feldman’s leadership, the Gallery says.

“Kaywin Feldman is a dynamic and highly principled leader, a gracious collaborator, and an innovator with the skills and vision to lead the National Gallery of Art in the 21st century,” Frederick W. Beinecke, President of the National Gallery of Art, said in a statement.

"The National Gallery of Art is arguably America's greatest treasure. To be chosen to lead it into its next decades is a profound honor,” Feldman said in a statement.

Feldman will join the Gallery in March.