Dan Stetson to Leave Polk Museum

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Daniel Stetson and Platform Dir. Cynthia Haffey
Platform Artful Bowl November 2010

Polk Museum of Art Director Daniel Stetson today announced his resignation effective May 31. Stetson is leaving to take the position of Museum Director for the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The Polk Museum sent a press release this morning. “I am so proud of having served as director of this wonderful Museum,” Stetson said. “Its place in the Central Florida community, the quality of its programs, its outstanding staff and board will forever be an inspiration to me. As the Museum has grown during my tenure here, so have I.”

(Update:) The Hunter Museum of American Art welcomed their new director with a simultaneous printed press release: “I am pleased to be taking on this new position with the Hunter Museum of American Art and look forward to building an exciting future with this world-class museum,” Stetson said. “My genuine love of American art and the Hunter’s magnificent collection, the wonderful staff, marvelous buildings and dedicated Board make this an ideal match. I look forward to exploring and getting to know the Chattanooga community.”

The Polk Museum’s longest tenured Executive Director, Stetson joined PMOA in 1996. Last September he was elected the President of the Florida Association of Museums and he served as the Board President for the Downtown Lakeland Partnership.

Under Stetson, PMOA weathered financial problems in 2004 with cuts in public revenues and donations. Chattanooga is experiencing similar issues today, based on a recent editorial in the Times-Free Press.

Deanna Rhodes-Tanner, president of the Polk Museum of Art Board of Trustees, said: “I am, of course, saddened by Dan’s departure, but I’m also excited for him and the opportunity he has been given. I’ve been on the Board for seven years and have known Dan for a long time, and I certainly wish him well in Chattanooga.” The press release added that “Rhodes-Tanner will appoint a search committee of Trustees to begin a national search immediately.” The museum hopes to have a new director by Fall 2011

Founded in 1966, the museum moved into the current building in 1988. The space supports various art from pre-Columbian to a selection of contemporary paintings and sculpture.


The Polk Museum of Art (2007)


Creative Commons License photo credit: Tom Hagerty for Lakeland Local

One thought on “Dan Stetson to Leave Polk Museum

  1. We will miss Dan’s passion and commitment to the Polk Museum and to the arts in general. Dan has never hesitated to speak his mind and to advocate for what he believed in. Best wishes for continued success my friend. Don

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