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Jeff Rodgers. The Berkshire Museum of Art.
Jeff Rodgers. The Berkshire Museum of Art.

Jeff Rodgers Appointed Executive Director of the Berkshire Museum

The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, has announced that Jeff Rodgers will take over the helm of the institution on April 1. Rodgers currently serves as provost and chief operating officer of the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, Florida. He succeeds Van Shields, the executive director behind the museum’s controversial decision to deaccession artworks in order to fund its “New Vision,” an approximately $60 million plan to bolster the Berkshire’s endowment and bankroll a renovation project. Rodgers’s appointment coincides with the museum’s one hundredth anniversary.

“The Berkshire Museum is, and must continue to be, an integral part of the Berkshire community,” Rodgers said in a statement. “The museum creates experiences that spark new thinking and new connections bridging art and history and the natural world. Over the past few months I’ve met with leaders from across the community and came away buoyed by the spirit of cooperation in our conversations. I am eager to lead that work with a commitment to collaboration and transparency. I have a lot of listening ahead.”

Rodgers has worked in a variety of roles over the course of his career. Prior to his position as provost and COO, he served as director of the South Florida Museum’s Bishop Planetarium—a multimedia theater that presents films, lectures, and other events to enhance visitors’ knowledge of and appreciation for astronomy—for over twelve years. Previously, he headed the Moveable Museum Program at the American Museum of Natural History in New York for more than a decade.

Throughout the four-month search for Shields’s replacement, David Ellis served as interim executive director. Elizabeth McGraw, president of the museum’s board of trustees, praised Ellis’s leadership during that time. Commenting on the appointment, she said: “Jeff brings a track record of innovative leadership and creative thinking that will, true to our unchanging mission, take the museum into a secure and successful future. Jeff shares our commitment to finding new and meaningful ways to connect art, science, and history for people of all ages across our community and this region.”