Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida announces new director

June 7, 2018
Tami Wroath

The University of Florida has announced the appointment of Dr. Lee Anne Chesterfield as the new Director of the Harn Museum of Art. Chesterfield is currently the Senior Advisor for Museum Planning and Board Relations at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond, Virginia, and will begin her appointment at the Harn on July 1.

At the VMFA, Chesterfield serves as the principal advisor to the Director, Alex Nyerges, and oversees all aspects of the museum’s strategic plan and board relations. The VMFA holds nearly 40,000 works of art in its permanent collection and serves more than 600,000 visitors per year with a staff of more than 600 people. Chesterfield joined VMFA in 2004 and has served in a variety of roles including Interim Deputy Director for Art and Education and the museum’s first Curator of Ancient American Art. She directed the opening of VMFA’s first permanent galleries of Native American and

Pre-Columbian Art; managed the VMFA membership department and capital campaign fundraising efforts; and led the successful American Alliance of Museums’ reaccreditation.

Chesterfield, serving as an adjunct professor, has taught courses on art and architecture at the College of William & Mary, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Christopher Newport University. Chesterfield earned her Ph.D. in Art History, specializing in Pre-Columbian Art, from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from James Madison University.

“I am honored to be appointed the new Director of the Harn Museum of Art.” said Dr. Lee Anne Chesterfield. “I look forward to working with the staff and building on its past successes in order to provide stellar collections, exhibitions and educational programs while increasing engagement with art among communities locally, nationally and internationally.”

Chesterfield was appointed after conducting a national search led by Russell Reynolds Associates, which included UF/Harn search committee interviews, director candidate presentations and meetings among University of Florida and Harn Museum staff.

“Dr. Chesterfield is an excellent person to guide the Harn in its next phase of strategic planning,” said Joseph Glover, University of Florida Provost and Senior Vice President. “As Director, she will provide the leadership, vision, and long-range planning for the museum’s financial stability, programmatic excellence, inclusiveness and equity, and continued growth and success.”

About the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art

Founded in 1990, the Harn Museum of Art is an integral part of the University of Florida. The Harn contributes to an interconnected, international community by integrating the arts and culture into curricula throughout the university’s system of colleges and centers. Its holdings include more than 11,100 works in five main collecting areas: Asian art, African art, photography, modern art of the Americas and Europe, and international contemporary art. The museum also has noteworthy collections of Oceanic and Ancient American Art and works on paper. In addition to rotating installations drawn from its permanent collection, the Harn organizes traveling exhibitions, public lectures, panel discussions, academic symposia, and educational programs for adults, students, and children.

The Harn Museum of Art, at 3259 Hull Road in Gainesville, Florida, is part of the University of Florida’s Cultural Plaza, which is also home to the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Admission is free. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The museum is open until 9 p.m. the second Thursday of every month for Museum Nights. The Camellia Court Café is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more Information, call 352-392-9826 or visit harn.ufl.edu.

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