Michener Art Museum names new director

The James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown will have a new leader this summer.

Lisa Tremper Hanover — currently helming the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College — will take over as director of the Michener in July.

The museum has a history of being run by artists. Bruce Katsiff, who has led the museum almost since its beginning and through periods of dramatic growth, began as a fine art photographer — as had chief curator, Brian Peterson.

In contrast, Hanover studied art history.

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“It’s a necessity if you want to join the Association of Art Museum Directors,” said Lou Della Penna, president of the Michener’s board of directors. “It’s a very select group — apparently there are only 200 members.

“When you’re in that group, you have the opportunity to forge relationships — relationships can open the door to a lot of exhibitions, and a lot of collaborative spirit, which is where we need to go,” Della Penna said.

Opened in 1988, the Michener spent it first few decades expanding very quickly, including a failed attempt to create a satellite museum in New Hope. The museum just opened a new glass pavilion in Doylestown. Now the growth spurt is over.

“I think they were on a really sharp trajectory, they needed to grow to support the programmatic infrastructure,” said Hanover. “I think the Michener physically is where it needs to be right now. Other facets of the program right now can come up to that same level.”

Hanover will begin in July, when the museum opens a new exhibition on political cartoonist Tony Auth, who will begin serving this month as digital artist in residence at WHYY and NewsWorks.

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