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Michener Art Museum names new director

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The Michener Art Museum Board of Trustees has named Kate Quinn the museum’s next executive director, effective July 20.

Quinn comes to the Michener from the Penn Museum in Philadelphia, where she served as director of exhibitions and special programs and as a member of the executive team that oversees all institutional planning and operations.

At the Penn Museum, she led the planning and implementation for special exhibitions, public programs and special events and directed many new gallery projects, including new Africa Galleries and the Mexico and Central America Gallery, which opened in November 2019 and was part of an $80 million institutional transformation project.

From 2008 to 2020, Quinn directed the Penn Museum’s most memorable marquee special exhibitions, including “Secrets of the Silk Road,” “Maya 2012: Lords of Time” and “The Golden Age of King Midas.”

With her team, she led the planning, design and installation of more than 100 shows, including the pioneering “Native American Voices” and the timely “Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories from Syria and Iraq.”

Additionally, Quinn led expansive programming initiatives to engage a wide array of diverse audiences, including numerous family and adult programs, like “The Public Classroom,” which engaged participants in discussions about race through the museum’s collections.

“Although we live in uncertain times, I am excited by the opportunities that lie ahead for this wonderful institution,” said Quinn.

“I am inspired by the Michener’s commitment to serve the local community and look forward to working alongside the talented staff and dedicated board to continue to innovate and grow the museum’s mission for a stronger cultural future for our communities.”

“The museum is extremely fortunate in attracting Kate to join the Michener and we look forward to her leading us in accomplishing our community-focused mission objectives,” said Greg Church, board of trustees chair.

Quinn earned her Master of Fine Arts in Museum Exhibition Planning and Design from the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, and her Bachelor of Arts degree in theater from Indiana University of Pennsylvania; she holds certificates from the Wharton School of Business, IBM, the Arts and Business Council of Philadelphia Designing Leadership Program and National Arts Strategies Managing People Program.

She is a graduate of the executive education program for museum leaders at the Getty Leadership Institute and an Affiliated Fellow of the American Academy in Rome.

Quinn serves on the executive committee for the board of directors, International Council of Museums, United States, and is a member of the board of directors for the Wharton Esherick Museum. She is also chair of the board of directors, The Resource Exchange, Philadelphia.


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