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July 15, 2022

Wadsworth Atheneum names new director

HBJ FILE PHOTO The Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford.

The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art – following a seven-month national search – announced Thursday that Matthew Hargraves will serve as its director.

The roles of CEO and director at the museum will be split into two separate positions, a route several other nonprofit arts institutions have decided to take in recent years. 

The CEO post is currently held by Jeffrey Brown.

The museum said that splitting the roles will enable the “institution to better seize opportunities in a changing museum environment, consistent with its evolutionary heritage.”

Hargraves has an extensive background in the arts. Most recently, he served as interim Robert H. Schutz Jr. Chief Curator at the Wadsworth since June 2021, overseeing the curatorial, conservation, exhibition and design, and library and archives departments. Hargraves has also held curator posts at several other institutions. He holds a Ph.D. in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Warwick.

“I look forward to working alongside CEO Jeff Brown to lead the Wadsworth into the next phase of its dynamic future,” Hargraves said in a statement.

Brown said the new director “brings a depth and breadth of knowledge, commitment, innovation, passion, and scholarship that will contribute to advancing public access to the Wadsworth’s remarkable collection and heighten our connections to the communities near and far.”

The Wadsworth Atheneum was founded in 1842. It is the home to a collection of nearly 50,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years.

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