Culminating a six-month national search, the Newark Museum
Board of Trustees announced today the appointment of veteran museum professional Steven Kern as its new Director and Chief Executive Officer. He will take the helm of New Jerseys largest museum in February, according to Board Chair Arlene Lieberman and President Andrew Richards.
Kern, who is leaving his position as Executive Director of the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY, fills the position left vacant by the retirement last May of Mary Sue Sweeney Price, who served as Director and CEO of the 105-year-old institution for the past two decades of her 40-year tenure, taking it to national prominence.
According to Richards, the Boards search committee worked diligently to find an executive with strong curatorial credentials combined with a proven record of creative programmatic experience and broad-based community involvement all hallmarks of the Newark Museum. The board was assisted in its national search by James Abruzzo of DHR International, NY. DHR also conducted the search for the President of NJPAC and several other cultural institutions locally and nationally.
The Board is impressed, Lieberman said, with Stevens team-building management style and successful strategic planning experience, which is a perfect fit for our institution at this time. He has developed an outstanding record in fundraising and cultivation of creative collaborative relationships with other cultural and community institutions with a special focus on inclusiveness. We look forward to working with him.
The collections of the Newark Museum are internationally recognized, Kern said and the professionalism of the curators and staff under the leadership of Mary Sue Price has earned the respect of the community as well as the museum. I look forward with great anticipation to working with them and, together, to take the institution to even greater heights.
Kern has served as executive director of the Everson Museum since 2008 where he initiated and led a successful campaign for the museums community engagement that is responsive to the communitys needs. Under his leadership, the museum developed innovative film programs, collaborative efforts with Syracuse University, historical associations and heritage organizations among others. He also was active in the regional and state arts organizations with special attention to advocacy, STEM and STEAM education.
Prior to joining Everson, Kern was Director of The William Benton Museum of Art, Connecticut State Art Museum, University of Connecticut. He has also served as Curator of European Art at the San Diego Museum of Art; Curator of Paintings at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass.; and Curator of European Art and Exhibitions, and Acting Director, Museum of Fine Arts and George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, Springfield, Mass.
Kern holds a Master of Arts Degree in the History of Art from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and two Bachelor of Arts Degrees in French Language and Literature, and Art History from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Kern earned both BA degrees with honors and was cited as a Commonwealth Scholar. He graduated from Amherst magna cum laude.
A polished communicator, Kern has appeared many times on radio and television as both a host and interviewee; has written a monthly column in the Syracuse Post-Standard for the past four years; and has lectured at the University of California, San Diego, School of Continuing Education, and the Williams College Graduate Program.
Multi-lingual, the new Newark Museum Director is fluent in French, has a strong working knowledge of Spanish, German and Dutch, and a reading knowledge of Italian.