Josh Basseches, Director & CEO of the Royal Ontario Museum
, announced today the appointment of Lynda Roscoe Hartigan as Deputy Director for Collections & Research and Chief Innovation Officer.
Lynda is one of the museum sectors most highly regarded and accomplished thought leaders and innovators, says Josh Basseches, ROM Director & CEO. In addition to her extensive experience leading curatorial and collection teams across art, culture and nature, Lynda has demonstrated an exceptional ability, over the span of her career, for bringing innovative and transdisciplinary thinking to the museum practice. As we look towards reopening and making the ROM an even more essential cultural and community hub, Lyndas in-depth experience makes her uniquely positioned to play a key role in our ongoing transformation and future success.
As Deputy Director for Collections & Research, Hartigan will be responsible for the leadership, strategic vision and financial oversight of the ROMs Curatorial and Collections division. She will also oversee the Library and Conservation areas as well as the Museums research and scholarly publishing activities. In her role as Chief Innovation Officer, Hartigan will lead the strategies that promote innovation at the Museum and bring creative and transdisciplinary ways of thinking to the ROMs singular strengths across art, culture and nature. Reporting to the Director & CEO, and as a senior member of the Executive Leadership Team, Hartigan will play a critical role contributing to the overall direction-setting and strategic planning of the institution.
I am thrilled to join the ROM, one of the worlds foremost 21st century museums, and to help develop innovative new ways of nurturing meaningful connections among art, culture, and nature, says Hartigan. I look forward to working with the ROMs talented staff and robust collections, and advancing its progressive, inclusive and ambitious vision. My husband Roger and I are eager to explore all the vibrancy that Toronto, Ontario, and Canada have to offer.
Previously, Hartigan held the position of The James B. and Mary Lou Hawkes Deputy Director for the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Massachusetts. She was PEMs first Chief Curator in 2003 and became Deputy Director in 2016. While at PEM, she led an innovative, ambitious and award-winning curatorial and collections program. As Deputy Director, she was responsible for developing a strategic plan that reimagined the museums curatorial practice, introducing a comprehensive and integrated approach to research, publishing, collections planning, interpretation, and exhibitions. Among the highlights of her tenure, Hartigan oversaw the creation of a new 120,000 square foot collections centre and was involved in the evolution of PEMs transdisciplinary Art and Nature Centre. In addition, Hartigan led the cross-functional interpretation and reinstallation of PEMs collection in conjunction with the 2019 opening of a new wing of the museum.
Hartigan began her career at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) in Washington, D.C., where she rose from the position of curatorial assistant to become Chief Curator. In that role, she was responsible for developing the museums internationally recognized collection of American folk art and African American Art and advancing the museums celebrated reputation as a centre for innovative research, exhibitions and publications. Hartigan was also the founding curator of SAAMs Joseph Cornell Study Centre, dedicated to the American modern artist about whom Hartigan is the worlds leading scholar.
Hartigan will be assuming the role upon the retirement of Mark Engstrom, who has made an extraordinary contribution to the Museums collection, research and science for more than 30 years, and who has served as Deputy Director for Collections & Research for the past 18 years.