Fitchburg, MA. Dr. Roderick Lewin, President of the Board of Trustees of the Fitchburg Art Museum, today announced the appointment of Nicholas Capasso as the museum’s new Director. He will join the museum on December 3, 2012.
Capasso currently serves as Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA, where he has helped to reposition that institution to identify and forefront its unique asset, the Sculpture Park. Capasso has worked for over 22 years at deCordova, where he oversees a permanent collection of 3,500 objects, gallery exhibitions, and the outdoor sculpture park. He is a member of the museum’s senior management team and served as deCordova’s Acting Director in 2007-2008. Although he specializes in contemporary art, Capasso is eager to work with the Fitchburg Art Museum’s encyclopedic collection. He also brings with him a special expertise in public art.
Capasso said, “I am most eager to join the fabulous team at the Fitchburg Art Museum, and to bring my experience and passion for art and education to bear on this wonderful institution. I look forward to working with a collection chock-full of treasures, and to strengthening the Museum’s ties to its multiple communities. I am particularly excited to have the opportunity to work closely with Mayor Lisa Wong and the City of Fitchburg, as well as with President Robert Antonucci at Fitchburg State University.”
Capasso holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and Geography from Clark University in Worcester, MA, as well as a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in Art History from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. He attended the prestigious Getty Museum Leadership Institute in 2011.
“Nick is a highly qualified leader with the experience and credentials to match the high standards of the Fitchburg Art Museum,” said Joe Sylvia, Co-Chair of the Director Search Committee. “His experience as a curator and his enthusiasm for art are shown in his creative ideas for exhibitions that span and unite contemporary and historic art.”
Dennis Kois, Director of the deCordova, said, “Nick has been a tremendous asset to deCordova, and I know I speak for the Trustees and the staff in saying that while his departure is a loss for the museum, we couldn't be happier for him. Nick will be a stellar Director and I look forward to seeing all he'll accomplish with such a wonderful institution and Board.”
Capasso will take over the reins of the Fitchburg Art Museum from Peter Timms, who has been Director since 1973 and retires in December, effective at the museum’s annual meeting. Timms came to Fitchburg when the Museum was but a single building with three galleries - the old “Cross Barn” at the end of Merriam Parkway off Fitchburg’s upper common. Today the Museum is a block long, three-building, 12-gallery complex.
“Peter has brought us to the stature we have today, particularly in the areas of our collection, building expansions and education,” said Lynne Benoit-Grzyb, Co-Chair of the Search Committee. “The Museum has been accredited by the American Association of Museums twice and has been a lynchpin in the revitalization of downtown Fitchburg.”
The selection of Capasso culminates a nationwide search for a new Director. Joseph Sylvia and Lynne Benoit-Grzyb co-chaired the Search Committee, which retained search consultant Marilyn Hoffman of Museum Search & Reference in Manchester, NH and Boston. The Search Committee members were Annelisa Addante, Gigi Barnhill, Anna Clementi, Scott Foster, Susan Jackson, Dr. RodLewin, Achla Madan, Nadine Martel, Susan Roetzer, Kent dur Russell, and DebVilandry.
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The Fitchburg Art Museum, North Central Massachusetts’ oldest and most treasured cultural institution, is a world-class family-friendly museum with a permanent collection spanning 5,000 years. Visitors can experience a wealth of masterpieces in 12 galleries that feature American, European, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, African, Asian, and Pre-Colombian art. Award-winning educational programs inspire all to learn about the importance of world cultures, art history, and contemporary life. The museum was founded in 1925 through a bequest of artist, collector, educator and Fitchburg native Eleanor Norcross (1854-1923).
Hours: Wednesday – Friday, Noon – 4pm, Saturday and Sunday 11 am – 5 pm. Closed Mondays.
Admission: Free for members; $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and students (13+). Fitchburg Art Museum supports Fitchburg’s First Thursday program and is free from 4.00 p.m. – 7 p.m. everyfirst Thursday of the month. The Museum is wheelchair accessible.
Info: Call 978 345 4207 or visit www.fitchburgartmusuem.org
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