Open Forum

 View Only
  • 1.  Co-directors in a museum?

    Posted 03-28-2019 12:50 PM
    Hello All--

    Does anyone know of any museums that have two co-directors reporting to a Board (rather than two deputies reporting to an executive director)? If you know of a museum that has tried this, and whether it was successful or not, I would appreciate hearing about it.


    Gail Nessell Colglazier

    Executive Searches for Museums

    Career Counseling for Museum Professionals

    Londonderry, NH

  • 2.  RE: Co-directors in a museum?

    Posted 03-29-2019 07:40 AM
    In Richmond, VA, when the American Civil War Center and the Museum of the Confederacy merged, both Christy Coleman and Waite Rawls were named codirectors. Now, as thethe American Civil War Museum readies its new building, Christy is the executive director and Waite is director of development.

    Barbara Batson
    Exhibitions Coordinator
    Library of Virginia
    Richmond VA

  • 3.  RE: Co-directors in a museum?

    Posted 03-29-2019 07:54 AM
    Hi Gail -

    I believe the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery ( has operated with two directors for years.


    Lisa Worley
    Director of Material Culture
    Edsel & Eleanor Ford House
    Grosse Pointe Shores MI

  • 4.  RE: Co-directors in a museum?

    Posted 03-29-2019 08:02 AM
    Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh.

    Kim Cavendish
    Fort Lauderdale FL

  • 5.  RE: Co-directors in a museum?

    Posted 03-29-2019 08:47 AM
    Hi Gail, 
    Bowdoin College Museum. And I can connect you with someone who worked there, if you like, Just email me directly.

    Dawn Salerno
    Executive Director
    Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum
    New Bedford MA

  • 6.  RE: Co-directors in a museum?

    Posted 03-29-2019 09:33 AM
    For an international perspective, see Te Papa:

    "The partnership between the Chief Executive Officer and Kaihautū (Māori leader) reflects the bicultural nature of the Museum.

    Te Papa 'acknowledges the unique position of Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand and the need to secure their participation in the governance, management, and operation' of the Museum."

    Here's the link to the info about their executive team:

    Executive team

    Mark Schlemmer
    Registrar for Collections
    New-York Historical Society
    New York NY

  • 7.  RE: Co-directors in a museum?

    Posted 03-29-2019 10:56 AM
    Hi there-
    I am the Vice President at Thanksgiving Point Institute, which is a multi-museum complex with 5 different museums. We don't have directors for any of our venues, rather we have a joint management team that works collaboratively to ensure the best possible experiences. For instance, the Director of Guest Services is responsible for guest service at all venues, the Director of Education is responsible for programming property wide, and so on. This allows us to provide consistency of guest experience, employee experience, and maintenance throughout. Although we have multiple museums, I believe we would adopt that same model were we a single venue because of the great collaboration and job satisfaction that it engenders. Hope that helps!

    Lorie Millward
    Vice President of Design and Programming
    Thanksgiving Point Institute
    Lehi UT

  • 8.  RE: Co-directors in a museum?

    Posted 03-29-2019 11:05 AM

    Gail -
    Frank Goodyear and Anne Goodyear at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art are husband and wife co-directors. They often tag team - one may be out of town while the other is doing things at the museum. You would have to ask them for more specifics on how well it works.

    Ann Wagner

    Ann Wagner PhD
    Jackey and Curtis Finch, Jr., Curator of Drawings
    Arkansas Arts Center
    Little Rock AR

  • 9.  RE: Co-directors in a museum?

    Posted 03-29-2019 01:35 PM
    Here's a link to Feb AAM blog post by the co-directors of the Fort Collins Museum, about this type of leadership.

    Julie Hart
    Senior Director, Standards & Excellence Programs
    American Alliance of Museums
    Arlington VA

  • 10.  RE: Co-directors in a museum?

    Posted 04-01-2019 09:03 AM
    Goodwood Museum & Gardens in Tallahassee has two Co-Executive Directors.

    John Turner
    Tallahassee FL