For Immediate Release: December 13, 2019
Contact: Alexina Jones, Acting Director of Operations
802-447-1571 ext. 202
Susan Strano, Marketing/PR Director
802-447-1571 ext. 204
Image: Joshua Campbell Torrance, Executive Director, Bennington Museum
Bennington Museum Names Joshua Campbell Torrance as New Executive Director
The Board of Trustees of Bennington Museum, a premier regional museum in New England, is pleased to announce the appointment of Joshua Campbell Torrance as the Museum’s new Executive Director. This leadership appointment will take effect January 20.
“I am thrilled to have been selected to be the next director for the Bennington Museum. It has a long-distinguished history representing the arts and culture of Vermont, a state that I recently discovered holds my family’s history. I look forward to forging new connections between art, culture, ideas and innovation, delving into the Museum’s vast collections of over 40,000 objects, and bringing the Museum further into the life of the community. Its outstanding collections, engaging programs and superb staff are complimented by a dedicated board. Altogether, it is a wonderful opportunity that I am very excited about. I am grateful, and committed to the success of both the Museum and the community,” Torrance stated.
Torrance has served as Executive Director of the Woodlawn Museum, Gardens & Park in Ellsworth, ME since 2000, transforming the all-volunteer historic house and 180-acre park into a thriving, community centered institution. He expanded Woodlawn’s public presence through innovative programming which resulted in an increase of school-aged visits by over 4000 since 2016, the creation of the Woodlawn Teachers Institute, the development of an interpretation plan that resulted in innovative audio tours, and the building of Maine’s largest croquet court (on Woodlawn property) and the generation of the croquet program, now operated totally by volunteers.
Under his leadership, Torrance developed strong relationships with major donors and private foundations, and secured grant funding for the Woodlawn Expansion Project and Capital Campaign. He spearheaded the $8.2 million initiative and oversaw the development of the master plan and supporting business plan. In his 19 years at Woodlawn, the institution raised nearly $10 million for preservation projects (including the complete restoration of the main house, also known as the Black House, named after the family who lived there for over 100 years), operating support, and the planned expansion project.
Torrance increased Woodlawn’s endowments by over $1 million while preserving and restoring the museum’s physical assets. During his tenure, the sleigh barn was restored into seasonal programming space, the stone wall surrounding the property was restored, and a new barn used for the presentation and storage of a historic vehicle collection was constructed. He developed and implemented a branding strategy that resulted in increased public awareness and Woodlawn being named Maine’s most ionic house by House Beautiful.
Prior to becoming director of Woodlawn Museum, Torrance held positions at Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, NY, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Museum of Art in Utica, NY, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. He earned an MA in History Museum Studies from the State University of New York at Oneonta, an MA in History from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a BA in History from Elmira College. Since 2005, he has served on and chaired many committees for national as well as local organizations such as the American Association for State and Local History, the New England Museum Association, the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce, the Ellsworth Rotary Clubs, Eastern Maine Development Committee, among others. His wife Jennifer, along with their teenaged daughter and son, will be joining Torrance in Bennington.
“We are fortunate to have someone with Joshua’s experience and qualifications stepping into the role as executive director at Bennington Museum,” states Consie West, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “We started with over forty candidates from across the country, and with the help of Arts Consulting Group, have selected the best candidate for taking the Museum forward. His proven ability and success in raising funds, developing strong relationships among donors and within the community, growing public programs, and restoring existing buildings, is key to our future strategic plan. We look forward to the arrival of Joshua and his family.”
The Bennington Museum is located at 75 Main Street (Route 9) in Bennington in The Shires of Vermont. Regular admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and students over 18. Admission is never charged for younger students or to visit the museum shop. Visit the museum’s website www.benningtonmuseum.org or call 802-447-1571 for more information.