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Wadsworth Atheneum Names Shipman & Goodwin Partner as Acting Director

August 7, 2007

The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art announces the appointment of Coleman H. Casey, currently President of the Board of Trustees, as Acting Director of the Museum until such time as a new Director is hired. The Museum is presently engaged in an international search for a new Director to replace Willard Holmes, who resigned in April.

Casey has been the President of the Board since November 2005, having first joined the Board of Trustees in 1990. He has served during that time on a wide variety of Museum committees. He is a graduate of Amherst College and The Yale Law School and is a partner in the Hartford law firm of Shipman & Goodwin LLP. In addition to his leadership of the Atheneum, Casey is a long-standing member of various boards, including the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, where he has also served as President of the Board.

"I am honored and moved by the Museum’s appointment of me," Casey remarked. "During this transition, the Museum needs day-to-day executive leadership. The Museum is one of the nation’s cultural jewels and continues to be the same vital and stimulating gallery it has been since its founding in 1842."

"It will be a tremendous asset for the Museum to have even greater access to Coleman’s business and leadership skills," noted Nicholas Ruocco, Deputy Director.

"The search for a new Director can typically take many months, so it is vital that the team now in place manage the Museum to the best of its resources and engage its members and visitors during this period," Casey commented. Working closely with the Board of Trustees and the dedicated and talented staff of the Museum, Casey will lead the Museum in the coming months in showcasing its outstanding permanent collections and presenting great exhibitions so that the next Director has a vibrant, out-reaching and forward-looking museum to run.

The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, founded in 1842, is a Connecticut cultural treasure and America’s oldest continuously operating art museum. With collections that include nearly 50,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years, the Museum is welcoming back its old Masters formerly on traveling loan as it currently celebrates the exhibition Faith and Fortune: Five Centuries of European Masterworks—glorious paintings, sculpture and decorative arts displayed as never before. The Museum looks ahead to a robust season of upcoming exhibitions with again: serial practices in contemporary art, photo-based art inspired by a gift from the celebrated local collector Mickey Cartin, from September 22 through December 30, 2007; Matrix 157/Christopher Mir, a collection of unique paintings compiled from collage images that suggest both traditional and Surrealist style, will be on exhibit from October 4, 2007 through January 6, 2008; and not-to-be-missed is the major international traveling exhibition, Impressionists by the Sea, opening February 9, 2008, with over 50 paintings documenting French 19th century artists’ fascination with the Normandy coast.

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