The Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, 35 miles from Pittsburgh, was losing its Director to retirement after a long and successful tenure. She had been only the second director in the Westmoreland’s 60-year history and was admired by her colleagues and the community. Her crowning achievement was guiding the Museum through a transformative rebuilding that resulted in a large, attractive facility with expanded galleries and state-of-the-art storage and classroom space. What followed was new and increased programming, attracting larger audiences and heightened local and national recognition. The budget was $2.5 Million.
The new incumbent would have the opportunity to take a financially stable, ambitious, well regarded institution to new levels of excellence and growth. High on the list of the Search Committee’s priorities were impressive academic credentials, demonstrated leadership and community relations skills, excellent fundraising success and creative programming ideas.
Finding the retiring Director’s successor would be a daunting task, but the Board had placed their confidence in our ability to meet the challenge and we were not going to disappoint them.
We crafted the search plan to include major advertising on museum employment sites and active recruitment in the field of American Art and contemporary art specialists. We vigorously sourced our contacts in the field and reached out to directors of outstanding smaller museums and department heads in larger organizations.
In the end, we presented six candidates to the Search Committee. All were impressive leaders with substantial accomplishments in the field. The successful candidate was Anne Kraybill, Director of Education and Research in Learning at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Anne had arrived at Crystal Bridges before it opened and advanced to the Museum’s senior leadership team. She was a respected and innovative trailblazer in the growing field of museum education. Anne was pleased to relocate her young family to a smaller city near big-city cultural resources. She began her position in late 2018 and has quickly applied her considerable skills to the creative growth of an outstanding organization.