Hill-Stead Museum’s Board of Governors announced today the appointment of Susan Ballek as Director & CEO of Hill-Stead Museum, effective November 4, 2013.
Ballek comes to Hill-Stead from Lyme Art Association, a vibrant, membership-based organization founded in 1914 by Lyme Impressionists, where she has served as Executive Director since 2009. In addition to overseeing all day-to-day operations, Ballek has successfully attracted new donors and members, sought out public and private funding, and maintained the financial health of the organization during challenging economic times.
Prior to joining Lyme Art Association, Ballek held increasingly responsible management positions at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum and the Connecticut River Museum. Her broad-based museum experience includes active involvement with collections and exhibitions, visitor services, educational programming for adults and children, public relations, graphic design, grants management, facilities, and fundraising campaigns and events. She has worked closely with volunteers throughout her career.
Ballek has been very involved in her community through leadership and other volunteer roles in organizations such as High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Lyme Land Conservation Trust and Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival. She holds a B.A. in Fine Art from the University of Oregon. Her art work has been exhibited in both Connecticut and Oregon.
“Susan’s collaborative and results-oriented style, plus comprehensive development, customer, volunteer, and program experiences within the arts community make her an ideal leader for Hill-Stead,” Tim Corbett, President of Hill-Stead’s Board of Governors, said. “Her energy and focus are infectious and have been demonstrated throughout her career by her professional and volunteer accomplishments.”
“I am honored to have been selected as the new leader of Hill-Stead Museum, and look forward to meeting the loyal members and friends in the coming months,” Ballek said. “Residents of the Greater Hartford area are so fortunate to have this breathtaking estate and art collection right in their backyard, and I can't wait to re-engage the community with new excerpts from the life of Theodate Pope Riddle. I look forward to working with the board, staff and volunteers as we discover opportunities for visitors of all ages from Connecticut, New England and beyond to make full use of the magnificent property Theodate left behind for many years to come.”
About Hill-Stead Museum
Hill-Stead Museum is noted for its 1901 33,000-square-foot house filled with art and antiques. Pioneering female architect Theodate Pope Riddle designed the grand house, set on 152 hilltop acres, to showcase the Impressionist masterpieces amassed by her father, Cleveland iron industrialist Alfred A. Pope. Hill-Stead is one of the nation’s few remaining representations of early-20th-century Country Place Estates. Collections include original furnishings, paintings by Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, James M. Whistler and Mary Cassatt, as well as numerous works on paper and Japanese woodblock prints. Stately trees, seasonal gardens, meadows, over three miles of stone walls and blazed hiking trails accent the grounds. A centerpiece of the property is the circa 1920 sunken garden designed by Beatrix Farrand, today the site of the renowned Sunken Garden Poetry Festival. The 1901 period rooms are open for tours Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm. The last tour of the day begins at 3 pm. Grounds are open daily 7:30 am-5:30 pm. For tour and program information, browse www.hillstead.org or call 860.677.4787.