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Shelburne Museum Names Thomas Denenberg Director

SHELBURNE, Vt. (Sept. 6, 2011) Shelburne Museum announced the appointment of Thomas Denenberg as director of the museum.

Denenberg  will  join Shelburne from the Portland Museum of Art in Portland, Maine where he is presently deputy director and chief curator. He succeeds Stephan Jost, who left Shelburne Museum in March to become director of Honolulu Academy of Arts in Honolulu, Hawaii.

“The opportunity to lead Shelburne Museum drew interest internationally, giving the Board of Trustees many superb candidates from which to choose,” said Board Chairman James Pizzagalli. “Tom was appointed with absolute confidence that he will continue to move Shelburne Museum forward, furthering the museum’s mission by bringing world-class exhibits and innovative educational programming to Vermont. Tom’s deep scholarship in American art, coupled with his leadership experience in museum operations, will make him an outstanding steward of Shelburne Museum’s collections and campus. In addition, his expertise in American paintings, in particular, will be a wonderful complement to the existing strengths on the curatorial staff.”

While at Portland, Denenberg oversaw a dynamic exhibition program with major shows of Winslow Homer, the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright and a popular exhibit of photography of rock musicians. He boosted the museum’s commitment to living artists through organizing an exhibition series exploring the contemporary creative culture of Maine.  In four years as the museum’s chief curator, annual attendance grew from 148,000 to 160,000 visitors.

“Shelburne Museum is a national treasure.  I am looking forward to joining a vibrant and growing institution that truly is part of the cultural fabric of the communities it serves,” Denenberg said.

Denenberg joins Shelburne in the wake of several groundbreaking initiatives, including the expansion and revitalization of educational programs, a broader exhibition schedule and the renovation and reinstallation of popular exhibit buildings including the Colchester Reef Lighthouse, Circus Building and Beach Lodge. In addition, an initiative to beautify the grounds expanded the number of gardens throughout the campus.

Prior to his tenure at Portland Museum of Art, Denenberg was curator of American art at Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, N.C., which is affiliated with Wake Forest University, and served as curator of American decorative arts at The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Conn.

He holds a Ph.D in American and New England studies from Boston University in Boston, Mass. and earned his B.A. at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.

He has received fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution and the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library.

Denenberg , 44, is married to Amber Degn with two young children. He will start at Shelburne Museum on Nov.  1.

About Shelburne Museum: Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont is one of North America’s finest, most diverse and unconventional museums of art, design and Americana. Over 150,000 works are exhibited in a remarkable setting of 39 exhibition buildings, 25 of which are historic and were relocated to the museum grounds.  The museum’s collection includes works by the great Impressionists Claude Monet, Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas as well as a prized collection of folk art including trade signs, weathervanes and quilts.

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6000 Shelburne Road
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