New Britain Museum of American Art chooses new executive director

Published on Monday, 27 December 2021 13:33
Written by Ciara Hooks


NEW BRITAIN – There will be new leadership in the New Year at the New Britain Museum of American Art. The Board of Trustees announced the selection of a new executive director, Brett Abbott.

Abbott will be the museum’s seventh executive director, following Min Jung Kim. Kim, who held the position for six years, resigned back in June for a new opportunity.

Dona Cassella, chair of the museum’s board of trustees, served as interim director until a successor was chosen.

“We are delighted to welcome Brett Abbott as the next director of the New Britain Museum of American Art,” Cassella said. “Brett will bring to the NBMAA his deep expertise in the interpretation of American Art and the broadening definition of what is American Art. Brett is someone who is both engaging and thoughtful and can relate well to our diverse audience.”

Abbott will take the helm Feb. 15.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the NBMAA,” Abbott said. “I look forward to working with the museum’s esteemed collection and its talented staff and to collaborating closely with its dedicated board and community on charting a bright path forward for the institution.”

Prior to earning this new position Abbott serves as director of collections and exhibitions at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. Since his appointment in 2016 he developed and oversaw the implementation of a long-range guide for acquisitions and collections growth and established the museum’s collection care and stewardship plan. He spearheaded a major renovation and re-imagining of the Carter’s internal galleries, completed in 2019, to improve visitor experience, and was instrumental in a reinstallation of the permanent collection that moved toward an entirely new thematic presentation, connecting artists and work through time.

Abbott earned his Bachelor of Arts in Art History with distinction from Stanford University, his Master of Arts in Art History from Williams College and completed the Executive Education Program for Museum Leaders at the Museum Leadership Institute. A specialist in twentieth and twenty-first century American photography, Abbott previously spent five years at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, where he served as Keough Family Curator of Photography and Head of Collections, and nine years at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Ciara Hooks can be reached at or 860-893-4592

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Monday, 27 December 2021 13:33. Updated: Monday, 27 December 2021 13:35.