The Boston Athenæum: Past, Present, Future
Elizabeth E. Barker, Ph.D.
The Boston Athenæum holds a position of undisputed importance in the history of American libraries and museums. But what lies in store? Can an illustrious institution that came of age amidst the intellectual flowering of 19th-century New England remain relevant in an age of digital devices, in a region now known for biotech?
Athenæum director Elizabeth Barker will explore these and other questions in a richly illustrated lecture that ranges across the Boston Athenæum’s history and identifies several key factors likely to shape its future—a prospect, she will argue, that appears no less brilliant than its glorious past.
Elizabeth E. Barker came to the Boston Athenæum in October 2014, where she is leading an effort to reinvigorate member programs, strengthen research, enhance collections, and preserve an unparalleled environment for study and reflection. A graduate of Yale College, and of NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts, where she specialized in British art of the late 18th century, Barker previously served as Director of Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum and Colgate University’s Picker Art Gallery, and Associate Curator of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A recipient of various fellowships and awards, Barker’s publications have ranged from the Italian Renaissance to contemporary American art.
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