The Norton Museum of Art has announced that Executive Director and CEO Hope Alswang will retire on March 1. Alswang will cap her nearly nine-year tenure at the West Palm Beach museum with the opening on Feb. 9 of a major expansion and enhancement designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Lord Norman Foster.
Under Alswang’s leadership, the museum is in the final phase of a $100 million capital campaign for The New Norton. Throughout her tenure, the museum has significantly expanded its collection, receiving donations of more than 875 artworks and acquiring more than 700, which notably increased its collections in contemporary art and photography. With these additions, the Norton grew its representation of works by women artists and artists of color by more than 150.
“Hope has had an electrifying effect on the Norton Museum of Art during her tenure,” said Harry Howell, chairman of the Board of Trustees. “In supporting our curators to develop groundbreaking exhibitions and significantly expand the permanent collection, she has brought the museum global attention.”
The capstone to Alswang’s leadership at the Norton has been leading The New Norton project, the largest capital campaign and building transformation in the institution’s history. The Foster + Partners-designed project is dramatically re-orienting the museum entrance, adding 35 percent more gallery space, a new state-of-the-art auditorium, a new dining pavilion and twice the education space.
The museum will reopen to the public on Feb. 9.
Before joining the Norton in 2010, Alswang was director of The Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design. She also served as consultant to a number of museums and historical societies, including the Smithsonian Institution. Alswang and her husband, Henry Joyce, have two grown children.
Howell said the trustees have formed a search committee to find a new director.