Boston’s Gardner Museum Appoints Peggy Fogelman as New Director

She brings experience at museums on both coasts.

Peggy Fogelman.Photo courtesy Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Peggy Fogelman.
Photo courtesy Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has tapped Peggy Fogelman for the position of director. She takes over from Anne Hawley to become the fifth director in the institution’s history, following Hawley’s 26-year tenure.

Fogelman makes the move from New York’s Morgan Library & Museum, where she has worked since 2013 as director of collections, with oversight of eight curatorial departments. She also served for a year as acting director, after which the Morgan hired Colin Bailey for that job.

The Gardner has been on a hiring spree this year, having brought in Christina Nielsen as curator of the collection and director of program planning in April.

The Gardner Museum.

The Gardner Museum.

The Gardner holds a collection spanning from antiquities to Impressionist works, with pieces by Fra Angelico, Raphael, Rembrandt, John Singer Sargent, and Titian, all housed in a Venetian-style palace with a garden courtyard. The founder, an heiress to a Scottish linen trader, was part of a family that arrived in Boston in 1650.

Fogelman had long been in roles with plenty of direct public engagement. Before her time at the Morgan, she had served for four years as chairman of education at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and served at the Peabody Essex Museum, in Salem, Massachusetts, as director of education and interpretation.

Earlier, she spent 13 years at the J. Paul Getty Museum, in Malibu, California, where she was associate curator of European sculpture before becoming a senior project specialist. She later assumed the position of assistant director and head of education and interpretive programs.

The Gardner is equally known for its collection and for a catastrophic 1990 theft, in which intruders made off with Rembrandt’s sole seascape along with paintings by Jan Vermeer, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, and more. The Google Art Project offers a virtual tour of the missing works via vintage photographs.

The FBI recently released a video showing a man suspected of being involved in the heist, and claimed in 2014 to have seen some of the stolen works as recently as 2000, for sale in Philadelphia.


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