Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass Executive Director Jan Smith retired at the end of summer after a nearly 25 year career, at which time Amy Moorefield was welcomed as the museum’s new leader.
When Smith started, the Neenah museum featured a variety of art mediums, but she says the shift to a glass-only focus in 2011 positively affected the museum as a whole.
“The realization that glass was the way to distinguish the museum was important [in my career],” Smith says. “We recognized that the collection [the museum had] was rooted in glass throughout its history with an international scope.”
Not only did Smith advocate for strategic plans in terms of drawing in younger audiences, she also shaped a national profile by showcasing works from influential artists. Smith is proud of the relationships she established with artists, both internationally and nationally. “I remember thinking to myself that it was such an honor to have artists like Lino Tagliapietra showcased within our small community, and have the local support.”
Taking over for Smith is incoming Executive Director Amy Moorefield, who has over 20 years of experience in museums, most recently serving as the director of the Phillips Museum of Art in Pennsylvania.
“Bergstrom-Mahler was deeply appealing to me due to its strength in the community, its strong mission and vision, the engaging board and talented staff and the long tenured leadership of Jan Smith,” Moorefield says. “All make it a rare gem in the art world.”
Moorefield’s goals for the museum focus on continuing where Smith left off, working to develop strong connections with stakeholders and organizations to help cultivate the organization in a strong, strategic manner.
“I believe in supporting communities and a great deal of my time in the beginning would be to work with the board and staff to build on ways to serve the community while attracting new visitors in a Covid-19 world with innovative programming both onsite and virtual,” she says.
For more information, visit bmmglass.com.