FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 1, 2012
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
Hancock Shaker Village Appoints President and CEO
Linda M. Steigleder to Assume Post on July 16
Pittsfield, MA– Hancock Shaker Village Board of Trustees Chair Ron Walter announced today that Linda M. Steigleder has been appointed president and chief executive officer of the living history museum. “The Board is extremely pleased that its national search brought us to someone as talented and experienced as Linda Steigleder,” said Walter. “Linda, in partnership with the Village’s wonderful staff, will bring the Hancock Shaker Village visitor experience to a new level and bring the Shaker’s timely message of ‘a job well done’ to the nation.” She will take the helm on July 16.
Steigleder has thirty years of experience in history and art museums, overseeing collections, exhibitions, and programs of American art, architecture, decorative arts, and craft. Since 1999, she has served as chief executive officer and lead major gifts officer at two institutions; the site she led that has the same kind of complexity as Hancock Shaker Village was Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT. Hill-Stead dates from 1901 and is a ten-building, 152-acre National Historic Landmark that was home to a pioneering industrialist and art collector, and also thrived as an early 20th century experimental farm.
Previously, she served as coordinator of the Museum Administration Graduate Program at Framingham State University; assistant director of the Storm King Art Center in New York’s Hudson Valley; and in various capacities in art museums, including at the University of Georgia, Athens. She is a graduate of the Archives Management program of the National Archives and Records Administration and the Museum Leadership Institute, sponsored by the J. Paul Getty Trust. Steigleder holds a master’s degree in museum studies and art history from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree in art history from the College of William and Mary.
Steigleder has developed and coordinated dozens of special exhibitions, some devoted to outdoor sculpture, others as diverse as Helen Frankenthaler and the Color Field Painters and A Century of Ceramics in the United States (400 objects). She also has extensive experience with institutional advancement and major projects, having managed capital campaigns, major construction, and strategic planning, and secured grants in the $30,000 to $1.25 million range and individual gifts of $30,000 to $100,000.
“I admire the Shaker aesthetic, especially the streamlined but beautiful lines of their finely crafted architecture, furniture, and functional objects,” said Steigleder. “Hancock Shaker Village is a vibrant reminder of how timeless and right on the Shakers were in their practices, especially as pertains to sustainability and with what we would call ‘green’ today.” Noting that Village successfully serves both the academic and popular sectors, Steigleder said: “Hancock Shaker Village is remarkable for the lessons it embodies and the value those lessons still hold for us today. I am drawn to the Village as a museum and landmark, and very much impressed with its high quality scholarship, collections care, educational programming, community engagement, and sustained patron and member support.”
Born and raised in Virginia, Steigleder is married to Clark Allen Wiedmann, a financial planner. In their spare time, the couple enjoys gardening, hiking, and other outdoor pursuits. She said, “The bucolic landscape and historic architecture of the Berkshires area appeal to my husband and me; we know the rich artistic legacies in that part of the USA and look forward to participating in the distinct communities that make up the region.”
Steigleder succeeds Ellen Spear, who left the Village in March of 2011 to become executive director of Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich, MA.
ABOUT HANCOCK SHAKER VILLAGE
Situated on a picturesque expanse of farm, field, and woodland in Pittsfield, Mass., Hancock Shaker Village is an outdoor living history museum and center for the study of principled living in the 21st century. The fully restored Village includes 18 historic buildings, heirloom medicinal and vegetable gardens, 22,000 examples of Shaker furniture, crafts, tools, and clothes that depict daily life at the Shakers’ City of Peace through its 220 years, as well as heritage breed farm animals and spectacular hiking trails. Visited by nearly 70,000 people annually, the Village brings the Shaker story to life, and preserves it for future generations. For more information, call 800.817.1137 or see www.hancockshakervillage.org.