Dr. David R. Brigham, the Edna S. Tuttleman Museum Director of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
(PAFA), will succeed President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Edward T. Lewis, who will step down on December 31, 2009, it was announced today by Donald R. Caldwell, Chair of the Board of Trustees. Brigham will be appointed PAFA's President and Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2010.
In 2007, Lewis was selected to serve the Academy as its President and CEO. During his tenure, PAFA saw the implementation of re-branding initiatives; the establishment of the Academy BFA; the launch of the performance series, PAFA Presents; and new community collaborations including several with the School District of Philadelphia. Additionally, under Lewis' direction, there has been a nearly fifteen percent increase in student applications, as well as an increase in annual giving by 40 percent, and capital gifts made possible the renovation of the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building's fourth floor. It was also during his tenure that the Academy continued its balanced budget; even through difficult economic times, and by careful planning PAFA did not experience any staff or faculty layoffs.
"Over the past year, PAFA has been working on its strategic plan, which will be presented to the Board in March 2010. I believe it is in the Academy's best interest that a new president leads this critical initiative. I am confident that PAFA is in capable hands with Dr. Brigham as it moves forward with its ambitious programs," said Lewis. "I have had the privilege of working with many educational institutions throughout my career and can say that my time at PAFA has been one of the most enriching experiences. I am exceedingly appreciative for the support I received from Chairman Don Caldwell, the trustees, staff, and faculty and for allowing me to play a role in the history of this extraordinary institution."
"We are extremely grateful to Ted Lewis for the leadership, business experience and acumen, and management skills he provided to us," stated Mr. Caldwell. "Ted has been an exceptional leader for the museum and school. We will miss his dedication to the Academy and wish him the very best."
Brigham joined PAFA in October 2007. Under his leadership, the museum has seen audience growth, including the increase in admissions revenue by 63% in the summer of 2009 over the same period last year; the launch of a comprehensive exhibition and public programs plan; the growth of the collection through more than 300 works of art and several major purchases, and a significant enhancement of its profile. Brigham's commitment to diversity has been evident in the formation of a Community Outreach Committee, the upcoming retrospective for Barkley L. Hendricks, and the planning of the first international retrospective for Henry O. Tanner in 2012.
Prior to his arrival at PAFA, Brigham led a dramatic transformation of the Allentown Art Museum into the vibrant institution it is today. Brigham was also formerly the Director of Collections and Exhibitions and Curator of American Art at the Worcester Art Museum, in Massachusetts. In addition to his work as a museum professional, he has taught at the University of Southern California, George Mason University, and Lebanon Valley College.
Brigham earned his master's degree in Museum Studies/American Civilization and doctorate in American Civilization at the University of Pennsylvania, and bachelor's degrees in English and Accounting summa cum laude from the University of Connecticut. His publications and exhibition projects span four centuries of American art, from the 17th to the late 20th centuries.
"I am thrilled and truly honored to be appointed the Academy's President and Chief Executive Officer at such a momentous time in its remarkable history," said Brigham. "PAFA will be facing exciting new challenges and opportunities with the development of the Cherry Street Plaza, making PAFA the first step on the Museum Mile, the implementation of a new low-residency Master of Fine Arts degree, and the completion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center bringing more visitors to our front door. I am eager to build upon recent successes in growing our funds available for student scholarships and finding ways to expand faculty development opportunities to support our extremely talented faculty. I very much look forward to serving this prestigious institution in my new capacity and to working with the great team of trustees, donors, volunteers, faculty, and staff who make it so impressive."
"In the two years since Dr. Brigham assumed the role of Museum Director, PAFA and its Board have seen remarkable accomplishments under his leadership. His passion, dedication, and enthusiasm for the Academy are infectious. He has the full support of the Board," stated Mr. Caldwell.
Mr. Caldwell continued, "With the vacancy left by Dr. Brigham's move to the presidency, PAFA will launch a global search for a new museum director. The many recent programs put in place by Dr. Brigham have fueled extraordinary momentum for the museum and will help to expedite the search for a new leader."