|Hancock Shaker Village Appoints President and CEO|
|03:01AM / Monday, July 02, 2012|
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Hancock Shaker Village has a new leader after more than a year of searching.
Hancock Shaker Village has a new leader to replace Ellen Spears, who left last spring after six years at the village.
The living history museum's board of trustees made the Sunday announcement that veteran museum administrator Linda M. Steigleder would step into the posts of president and chief executive officer on July 16.
Steigleder has 30 years of experience in history and art museums, overseeing collections, exhibitions, and programs of American art, architecture, decorative arts, and craft. She spent the past eight years as CEO and major gifts officer at Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, Conn., then director of the Bascom-Louise Gallery from 2007 to 2011.
Steigleder succeeds Ellen Spear, who left the village in March last year to become executive director of Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich.
"The board is extremely pleased that its national search brought us to someone as talented and experienced as Linda Steigleder," Chairman Ron Walter said. "Linda, in partnership with the Village's wonderful staff, will bring the Hancock Shaker Village visitor experience to a new level and bring the Shaker's timely message of 'a job well done' to the nation.
Hill-Stead is similar to Hancock Shaker Village in complexity, said museum officials. Hill-Stead dates from 1901 and is a 10-building, 152-acre National Historic Landmark that was home to a pioneering industrialist and art collector, and also thrived as an early 20th century experimental farm.
The 220-year-old Hancock Shaker Village has 18 historic buildings, heirloom medicinal and vegetable gardens, 22,000 examples of Shaker furniture, crafts, tools, and clothes, heritage breed farm animals and hiking trails. It hosts some 70,000 visitors a year.
"Hancock Shaker Village is remarkable for the lessons it embodies and the value those lessons still hold for us today," said Steigleder. "I am drawn to the village as a museum and landmark, and very much impressed with its high quality scholarship, collections care, educational programming, community engagement, and sustained patron and member support."
Steigleder's 30 years in museums and curation include coordinator of the Museum Administration Graduate Program at Framingham State University; assistant director of the Storm King Art Center in New York's Hudson Valley; and in various capacities in art museums, including at the University of Georgia, Athens. She is a graduate of the Archives Management program of the National Archives and Records Administration and the Museum Leadership Institute, sponsored by the J. Paul Getty Trust. Steigleder holds a master's degree in museum studies and art history from Syracuse University and a bachelor's degree in art history from the College of William and Mary.
She has developed and coordinated dozens of special exhibitions, some devoted to outdoor sculpture, others as diverse as "Helen Frankenthaler and the Color Field Painters" and "A Century of Ceramics in the United States" (400 objects). She also has extensive experience with institutional advancement and major projects, having managed capital campaigns, major construction, and strategic planning, and secured grants in the $30,000 to $1.25 million range and individual gifts of $30,000 to $100,000.
Born and raised in Virginia, Steigleder is married to Clark Allen Wiedmann, a financial planner. In their spare time, the couple enjoys gardening, hiking, and other outdoor pursuits.
"The bucolic landscape and historic architecture of the Berkshires area appeal to my husband and me; we know the rich artistic legacies in that part of the USA and look forward to participating in the distinct communities that make up the region."