The Chrysler Museum Announces Three New Deputy Directors
NORFOLK, Va. (May 16, 2019) – The Chrysler Museum of Art is pleased to announce the appointment of three deputy directors: Seth Feman, Ph.D, Deputy Director for Art & Interpretation and Curator of Photography; Colleen Higginbotham, Deputy Director for Visitor Experience; and Dana Fuqua, Deputy Director for Operations. The positions are new to the Chrysler Museum of Art and were filled by current employees as part of an administrative restructuring initiative. “At the Chrysler Museum, optimizing the visitor experience is among our top priorities. We hope to achieve a more unified approach to that objective with greater synthesis of exhibition and educational programming, enhanced internal collaboration and more opportunities for strategic planning. The reorganization gives us the chance to accomplish these goals while promoting talented Chrysler Museum team members,” said Museum Director Erik Neil.
As Deputy Director for Art & Interpretation, Feman manages the curatorial, conservation, registration and education departments, as well as the Jean Outland Chrysler Library. “I’m thrilled to serve in this new role as we discover new ways to engage the Hampton Roads community while drawing national recognition to our corner of Virginia,” Feman said.
Feman will also continue his role as Curator of Photography, a position in which he prioritizes the Chrysler’s photography collection and exhibitions. Previously, he also served as Curator of Exhibitions. He joined the Museum staff in 2012 as Manager of Interpretation and is credited for introducing new guidelines for communicating scholarly material in an accessible, jargon-free manner. Before coming to the Chrysler, he was an educator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and taught courses in art history and material culture at The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va. and Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore. He holds a Ph.D as well as a master’s degree in American Studies from The College of William & Mary and an undergraduate degree from Vassar College.
Higginbotham, formerly the Director of Visitor Services, has more than 20 years of customer service management experience. She came to the Chrysler Museum in 2007 and manages the frontline visitor services staff, the Museum Shop and Special Events. She has also implemented the Museum’s acclaimed Gallery Host program that trains the visitor services staff to provide service, security and engagement in an environment that is warm and welcoming. The program garnered national recognition and is now used as a model for other museums across the country. In addition to her current duties, she will now also manage the Museum’s security staff as well as the Perry Glass Studio. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Leisure Studies: Tourism Management from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed the Getty Leadership Institute’s Executive Program for Museum Leaders in 2017. “I’m excited for the opportunity to grow professionally with a new role at an institution that I already love. This new structure allows us to see a broader view of our visitors, research them more thoroughly and work cross-departmentally to facilitate smooth experiences,” Higginbotham said.
As Deputy Director for Operations, Fuqua manages the finance, facilities and human resources staff and also oversees information technology at the Museum. She came to the Chrysler Museum in 2006 as Chief Financial Officer and Director of Operations. During her tenure at the Museum, she has implemented new payroll software, introduced a merit-based pay system and comprehensive benefits program and ensured the Chrysler’s $24 million renovation was completed within budget and on schedule. She also oversaw the $4.5 million purchase and renovation of real estate adjacent to the Museum that is now the Perry Glass Studio. Before joining the Chrysler team, Fuqua was an auditor for Cavanaugh Nelson & Co., where she managed audit engagements for not-for-profit organizations and corporate entities. She is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
ABOUT THE CHRYSLER MUSEUM OF ART
The Chrysler Museum of Art is one of America’s most distinguished mid-sized art museums, with a nationally recognized collection of more than 30,000 objects, including one of the great glass collections in America. The core of the Chrysler’s collection comes from Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., an avid art collector who donated thousands of objects from his private collection to the Museum. The Museum has growing collections in many areas and mounts an ambitious schedule of visiting exhibitions and educational programs each season. The Chrysler has also been recognized nationally for its unique commitment to hospitality with its innovative gallery host program.
The Perry Glass Studio is a state-of-the-art facility on the Museum’s campus. The studio offers programming for aspiring and master artists alike in a variety of processes including glassblowing, fusing, flameworking, coldworking and neon. The studio has also cultivated a reputation for its cutting-edge performance evenings, and was the host venue of the 2017 Glass Arts Society Conference.
In addition, the Chrysler Museum of Art administers two historic houses in downtown Norfolk: the Moses Myers House and the Willoughby-Baylor House, as well as the Jean Outland Chrysler Library on the campus of Old Dominion University. General admission is free at all venues. For more information on the Chrysler Museum of Art, visit chrysler.org.
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