The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida, has appointed Elliot Bostwick Davis as its new director and CEO. She begin in her position in March 2019, succeeding outgoing director Hope Alswang, whose retirement was announced in August.
Davis has been chair of the department of Art of the Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for the past 18 years. During her tenure there, she oversaw the 2010 opening of the museum’s widely acclaimed Art of the Americas wing, which brought forth expansive notions of connectivity by juxtaposing American colonial art, a strength of the museum, with art from throughout Latin America, indigenous art, and art from pre-Colombian civilizations.
Davis wrote 20 publications and organized 15 exhibitions while at the MFA Boston, among them monographic shows of Mark Rothko (2017), Jamie Wyeth (2014), Loïs Mailou Jones (2013), and Edward Hopper (2007). Prior to her appointment at the MFA, she was a curator of drawings and prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Harry Howell, the Norton Museum’s board chair, said in a statement, “Widely respected as a scholar and curator, Elliot is also an innovator in making the art of the Americas a more inclusive field and making museums more active and engaged in their communities. As our institution begins to grow into its new wing, we know that Elliot will create a vision for the Norton that meets our aspirations of being one of the nation’s leading art museums.”
The Norton’s in-progress expansion, designed Foster + Partners (who also worked on Davis’s Americas wing at the MFA Boston), includes a new sculpture garden and a 59,000-square-foot addition that will involve a new wing, additional gallery space, an education center, and a restoration of historic houses for an artist-residency program, among other upgrades. The museum, which is currently closed, will reopen in February 2019, a month before Davis begins.
“It is an honor to become the next director of the Norton Museum of Art at this time of historic transformation,” Davis said in a statement. “I view the Norton as a place of inspiration, creativity, and excellence, and one that will nurture even greater connections to audiences of all ages and walks of life, both in Palm Beach County and beyond.”