J. Brooks Joyner has been appointed by the Board of Trustees as the Allentown Art Museum
s Priscilla Payne Hurd President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Joyner will assume his new post, vacated by Gregory J. Perry in September 2009, on May 1, 2010.
Joyner comes to the Allentown Art Museum from the Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Neb., where he was director from 2001 to 2009. In formation since 1931, the Joslyn Art Museum's collection now contains more than 11,000 works of art from all over the world, antiquity to the present, with a concentration on 19th and 20th century European and American art. Highlights of the permanent collection include works by Lorenzo di Credi, Titian, El Greco, Veronese, Claude de Lorrain, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Pierre August Renoir, and Camille Pissarro. American masters such as Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Hart Benton, Mary Cassatt, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, John Steuart Curry, Grant Wood, Jackson Pollock, Dale Chihuly, and George Segal are also represented. The Joslyn is renowned for its collection of art of the American West, and known worldwide for its collection of Swiss artist Karl Bodmer's watercolors and prints documenting his 1832-34 journey to the Missouri River frontier with German Prince Maximilian of Wied.
During his tenure at Joslyn, the museum was at the forefront of significant change and achievement that included: organizing important international exhibition exchanges such as Russia's Age of Elegance (June-September, 2005) and Artists of the American West: 1830-1840 (2003) which was shown at the Russian State Museum, St. Petersburg and the Pushkin Museum, Moscow; Diego Rivera: Master Works from the Museo des Artes del Estado de Vera Cruz (October 2008-January, 2009); and 19th Century European Masters from Joslyn Art Museum (Summer, 2008) shown in the Museo Diego Rivera, Xalapa, Mexico; gaining national recognition for family and children's programs including being named one of the Top Ten art museums in America in that category by Child Magazine in 2006 and designing award winning publications and exhibition catalogues.
Joyner was also responsible for the development of the Joslyn Art Museum's first strategic plan, completed in 2006; bringing the museum's reaccreditation process to a successful conclusion in 2009; and for highly praised capital improvements to the building and grounds including a new visitor center and entrance as well as a new museum store. Joyner also oversaw the most recent capital improvement at the Joslyn- the opening of the Peter Kiewit Foundation Sculpture Garden in June 2009, which was a fully funded $7.5 million project that overachieved by raising in excess of $14 million in cash and pledges.
Also, during his tenure, the Joslyn saw a significant growth in its endowment from $20 million to almost $30 million and a sizable enlargement of its permanent collection by approximately 10% over eight years including important acquisitions and gifts of contemporary art, European and American paintings and sculpture, old master and modern works on paper, photography, numismatics, Native American art and artifacts and American art of the West.
Joyner is especially noted for his accomplishments and success with community engagement and partnerships with such institutions as Creighton University, Omaha Public Schools, Opera Omaha and The University of Nebraska Medical Center to name a few. During his tenure at Joslyn, he was credited with strengthening the art museum's position as the center of the cultural life in Omaha.
We were so pleased that there was so much interest in the presidents position, said Joanne Barnette, chair of the Allentown Art Museums Board of Trustees. We are delighted and fortunate to be able to attract and retain Brooks Joyner, who has demonstrated strong leadership skills. These qualifications and his extensive museum experience will be of great benefit to the Allentown Art Museum as we begin our expansion as well as a new strategic plan.
Joyner joins the museum at an important time, as the cultural cornerstone of the Lehigh Valley prepares to kick off its highly anticipated expansion project in late spring.
"I am truly excited to be joining the Allentown Art Museum in a leadership role especially at this momentous time when the art museum will be undertaking a critically important refurbishment and expansion, said Joyner. In addition to the capital improvements and renovations to interior spaces, the Allentown Art Museum has the opportunity to reinvent itself externally through its community programs, public engagement and creative collaborations. I am thrilled to be a part of this new era in the life of the Allentown Art Museum."
Prior to his tenure at the Joslyn, Joyner held positions at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Okla; the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Ala.; the South Bend Art Center, South Bend, Ind.; the Nickle Arts Museum and University of Calgary Art Gallery, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and at Towson State University Fine Arts Gallery and Collections of African and Asian Art, Baltimore, Md.
Paul Farr, executive vice president and chief financial officer of PPL Corporation and vice chair of the museums BOT, chaired the museums search committee. While we interviewed several, high-caliber candidates, said Farr, the committee was in agreement that Brooks Joyner encompassed all of the skill sets that were necessary to take the museum to that next level. As we embark on an exciting expansion project, a new strategic plan and work towards our fundraising goals his leadership, fundraising and curatorial skills will be a strong asset. We are extremely pleased that Brooks accepted our offer.
Joyner earned an M.A. in art history and a B.A. in history from the University of Maryland, College Park, Md. He also completed Doctoral Studies courses at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, N.Y.
Joyner and his wife, Louise, and their two children will be relocating to the Lehigh Valley region.