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Peabody Essex Museum names Lynda Roscoe Hartigan its first female director in its 221-year history

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Posted at 4:16 PM, Apr 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 16:16:34-04

One of the nation's oldest continuously operating museums has named Lynda Roscoe Hartigan its first female director in its 221-year history.

The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, announced on Thursday that Hartigan of the Royal Ontario Museum of Toronto would begin as the museum's next CEO on Aug. 23.

“It is a tremendous honor to lead PEM, an organization whose focus on the potential of creativity, cultural understanding, and innovation is more relevant and needed than ever,” said Hartigan in the news release. “This is a pivotal moment for museums to stimulate conversation and connection with empathy and courage. I am passionate about ensuring that PEM welcomes all people to explore our shared humanity through the power of the arts and cultural expression.”

Hartigan is replacing Brian Kennedy, who left the museum in 2020 after just 17 months, Patch and The Art Newspaper reported.

In 2003, Hartigan was the PEM's first chief curator and became its deputy director in 2016.

She also served as the chief curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.