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New boss at Woodmere Art Museum

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

The expansion of a small art museum in Chestnut Hill will depend on its newly hired director. The Woodmere Art Museum is under new management.

The home of the Woodmere Art Museum is stone Victorian mansion on Germantown Avenue with fewer than 3000 pieces in its collection. What it lacks in quantity it makes up in its focus on regional artists, which Bill Valerio wants to highlight. The former assistant director at the Philadelphia Museum of art has just been hired to head the Woodmere.

Nine years ago the museum unveiled plans for a new wing, designed by Robert Venturi. It hasn’t been built largely because of money problems and complaints from neighbors. Valerio says he’s unsure if he needs a bigger building to fulfill the museum’s mission.

“Once we have that vision, we say, does the physical plant get the museum to where we want to get it? At that point we decide the status of that specific plan. It may be perfect, it may not be – but it’s only when we have a vision for the future can we make that judgment.”

Valerio says his first order of business is to create that vision through talking with partners and employees.

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