Monday, July 21, 2008

Clark to focus on curating at Carle

Museum transitioning from start-up

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is seeking an executive director to free up founding director H. Nichols B. Clark to focus on organizing exhibitions and events, according to the museum. (See my initial report here.) The move represents the Amherst museum, which opened in 2002, moving out of start-up mode.

“As far as we’re concerned, Nick is a lifer with this organization. He’s not going anywhere at all,” Christopher Milne, chairman of the museum’s board, said this morning.

“We just feel at this point that we want to take this job that he had and separate the curatorial and programming functions, which are the heart and soul of the museum, from the executive administrative functions. No one person can effectively handle all those responsibilities in an organization of our size and with our scope of mission.”

“We’ve simply taken the position of founding director and split it in two. So we will now have a chief curator and executive director as the two most senior management positions. Nick is going to be the chief curator, because it’s important that he’ll be able to spend 100 percent of his attention in this area.”

Asked when the new executive director might come on board, Milne said, “Nick is still functioning as he’s always functioned. There is no vacancy. So we’re going to hire the new person as soon as we can find the perfect person for the job.”

“It’s a function of our growth and our success that, wherever possible, we need to move away from people having to do multiple functions – which is so common in a start-up operation – to allow people to focus on their strengths and areas of expertise.”


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