Director of Florida’s Norton Museum of Art to Retire in March 2019

Hope Alswang, executive director and CEO of the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida, has announced that she will step down on March 1, 2019, following the opening of the institution’s new Norman Foster–designed expansion project in February.

Under Alswang’s leadership, the Norton has successfully raised more than $100 million for its ongoing capital campaign; significantly expanded its collection, acquiring more than 700 works; greatly increased its community outreach programs; and inaugurated the Recognition of Art by Women (RAW) exhibition series, which highlights living women artists, as well as the biennial Rudin Prize, which is awarded to an emerging photographer who has never had a solo exhibition at a museum.

“Hope has had an electrifying effect on the Norton Museum of Art during her tenure,” said Harry Howell, chairman of the board of trustees. “In supporting our curators to develop groundbreaking exhibitions and significantly expand the permanent collection, she has brought the museum global attention. Now, thanks to her efforts and those of a committed board of trustees and dynamic staff, the Norton is on the cusp of successfully realizing a stunning new wing and beautifully enhanced campus that will transform this institution.”

The new Norton project, the largest capital campaign and building transformation in the institution’s history, will dramatically reorient the museum’s entrance and add 35 percent more gallery space, a new state-of-the-art auditorium, a dining pavilion, and a sculpture garden. It will also double the space previously dedicated to educational initiatives. 

Commenting on her tenure at the museum, Alswang said: “The founder of this institution, Ralph Norton, gave the museum a simple, but powerful mission: to share and celebrate great works of art with the public. During my time here, in collaboration with a remarkably dedicated board of trustees and brilliantly talented staff, I’ve tried to interpret the meaning of that mission. Which works do we designate as great art? What are the ways in which we can share and celebrate them? Who do we mean, when we speak of the public? The answers we formulated together have now taken tangible form in our new wing. I am deeply grateful to everyone who has contributed to creating a Norton that is larger in every way: its campus, its approach to art, its embrace of the community, and its new place on the world stage.”

Prior to leading the Norton Museum, Alswang served as director of the Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design, president and CEO of the Shelburne Museum in Vermont, and director of the museum program for the New York State Council on the Arts.