Gloucester, MA — The Board of Directors of the Cape Ann Museum (CAM) announced last week that Oliver Barker has been appointed Director of the Museum, effective April 1, 2019. Barker will succeed Ronda Faloon who is retiring after serving as Executive Director since 2006. During her tenure, she has led the Museum through a period of tremendous growth.
Barker will work closely with CAM’s Board of Directors to set Museum-wide strategies and priorities in accordance with CAM’s Strategic Plan 2018-2023. The plan envisions expanded and updated facilities, including the building of a new Collections and Curatorial Center to store the Museum’s significant and growing holdings prior to its 150th Anniversary in 2023. Responsible for management of all areas of the Museum, Barker most recently served as Manager of Foundation, Government, and International Relations for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA).
Barker, who has family ties in Gloucester and lives in Wenham, Mass. with his family, was born and educated in Melbourne, Australia. He is a cultural management professional with 20 years of experience within global visual arts arenas. Prior to joining the MFA, he worked as Curator & Projects Director for the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. He began his career as the Director of Education & Visitor Services at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy, where he lived for nearly a decade. Barker holds a master’s degree in Arts and Cultural Management from the University of Melbourne and an Honors Degree in Fine Arts, Painting and Printmaking from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), in Melbourne, Australia.
“This is a very exciting moment in the history of the Museum, and I am delighted that Oliver Barker will be joining us as the Cape Ann Museum’s next Director,” said Charles Esdaile, president of CAM’s board of directors. “I am confident that Oliver’s unique combination of world-class museum leadership experience and deep local knowledge will help to guide CAM through our next phase of growth.”
At the MFA, Barker supervised a portfolio of fundraising and international engagements. He was responsible for building relationships and partnership initiatives with national and international foundations, corporations, and governments. Additionally, he served as cultural diplomacy protocol officer on behalf of the Museum, developing and maintaining relationships with foreign consulates, embassies and stewarding connections with international delegations.
“I am thrilled to join CAM at this important time in its history,” Barker said. “CAM has a critical role to play in our community, and I greatly look forward to working with the Museum’s talented staff, dedicated Board, volunteers, and members to realize the Museum’s vision of continuing to strengthen its relevance in the Cape Ann community and becoming one of the finest regional museums in the United States.”
In addition to implementing CAM’s Strategic Plan, the Museum presents a varied and exciting roster of upcoming exhibitions including Homer at the Beach: A Marine Painter’s Journey, 1869-1880, opening August 2019. Drawn from 40 public and private collections, this exhibition will showcase a selection of Homer’s finest marine works, many of which were inspired by the artist’s encounters in and around Gloucester.