Lisa Krassner walks wide-eyed around the Concord Museum these days.
The new director has been on the job for a few short weeks, and has new reasons to be excited by the newly renovated galleries every day.
“It’s a great privilege to be here at this time,” she said. “It’s an amazing collection.”
Krassner toured the “reimagined, refocused and renovated” spaces that reopened a year ago that highlight Concord’s Native American history and the role of women during the Revolutionary War, through the abolitionist movement to the lives of transcendental writers and thinkers.
The capital campaign raised approximately $13M to renovate existing galleries and add new offices and an education center.
“It was an opportunity, at the end of the capital campaign, to bring fresh eyes to the museum,” she said.
Krassner, whose resume includes work at the Metropolitan Museum and American Museum of Natural History in New York City and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, said it’s her first time at a small museum, though that doesn’t mean the scope of the collection is limited.
“I think we are punching above our weight with the depth of our collection and what we do here,” she said. “We are small and mighty.”
The staff includes 14 full time and about 25 part time educators and curators as well as many volunteers.
The museum was incorporated 136 years ago and has steadily grown a collection that is more inclusive.
“We are telling a story of all Concord, not just April 19, 1775,” Krassner said.
She spends the bulk of her time meeting the staff, board members and volunteers. “I’m learning how we can work together, their aspirations, and what they want for themselves,” she said. She described it as a “listening tour.” “I bring fresh eyes so we can grow our reach and relevance, and hopefully engage a younger audience,” she said. She is also preparing for the new exhibit about Concordian Daniel Chester French, sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial, the Minute Man statue in the national park, the statue of Emerson in the Concord Library and the “Mourning Victory” statue in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.
The exhibit is about planning the Lincoln Memorial including French’s sketches and the development of the monument.