The New Britain Museum of American Art hires a new director

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NEW BRITAIN – The board of trustees of the New Britain Museum of American Art has hired its seventh executive director, it announced in a statement.

“We are delighted to welcome Brett Abbott as the next director of the New Britain Museum of American Art,” said Dona V. Cassella, Acting Director and Chair of the Board of Trustees. “Brett will bring to the NBMAA his deep expertise in interpreting American art and expanding the definition of what American art is. Brett is someone who is both engaging and thoughtful, and can get along well with our diverse audience.


Abbott takes up his new post in New Britain on February 15.

“I am absolutely thrilled to join the NBMAA,” Abbott said in the statement. “I look forward to working with the Museum’s esteemed collection and its talented staff, and to collaborating closely with its dedicated Board and community to chart a brilliant course for the institution.

Abbott is currently Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, where he directs Carter’s Curatorial, Conservation, Publications, Archives, and Registration departments, as well as exhibition design, photographic services, and preparations.

Since his appointment there in 2016, Abbott has set the vision for the curatorial team, developed and overseen the implementation of a long-term guide for collections acquisitions and growth, and established the care and stewardship of the museum’s collections, according to the release.

“He led a major renovation and reimagining of The Carter’s internal galleries, completed in 2019, to enhance the visitor experience and was instrumental in a relocation of the permanent collection that shifted to a fully themed presentation. new, connecting artists and work through time,” according to the New Britain Museum statement.

Abbott earned his Bachelor of Arts in Art History with Honors from Stanford University, his Master of Arts in Art History from Williams College, and completed the Executive Education Program for Museum Leaders at Museum Leadership Institute.

Over the past two decades, Abbott has curated more than 30 exhibitions and contributed to more than a dozen publications. A specialist in 20th and 21st century American photography, Abbott previously spent five years at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, where he was curator of photography and responsible for the Keough family collections, and nine years at the J. Paul Getty Museum of Los Angeles.

Among her many awards are the Ansel Adams Fellowship for her work on Wynn Bullock at the Center for Creative Photography in 2012, and two Lucie Awards for Curator/Exhibition of the Year.

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