Bennington Museum has selected Joshua Campbell Torrance as Executive Director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). He began his tenure on January 20, 2020.
An experienced arts manager with a background in fundraising and community development, Mr. Torrance joins Bennington Museum after 19 years as the Executive Director at the Woodlawn Museum, Gardens & Park in Ellsworth, Maine. In this role, he raised more than $10 million to fund major restorations and operations. He was instrumental in the renovations of the 180-acre estate’s main house and the Sleigh Barn as well as the construction of a new barn to be used as storage for a historic vehicle collection. Mr. Torrance also created and promoted innovative programming to increase public presence and educational use, including the Woodlawn Teachers Institute. He organized the construction of Maine’s largest croquet court, created a volunteer-run croquet program, and developed a branding strategy that resulted in Woodlawn being named Maine’s Most Iconic House by House Beautiful. Prior to his tenure with Woodlawn, Mr. Torrance held positions with the Fenimore Art Museum, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, and the Smithsonian Institution.
Mr. Torrance serves on several boards, including the American Association for State and Local History, and the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce. He holds a bachelor of arts in history from Elmira College in New York, a master of arts in history, public history concentration from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a master of arts in history museum studies from the State University of New York at Oneonta. He also has a Leadership Certificate for Nonprofit Chief Executives from Board Source.
In making the announcement, Board Chair Consie West said, “We are fortunate to have someone with Joshua’s experience and qualifications stepping into the role. His proven ability and success in raising funds, developing strong relationships among donors and within the community, growing public programs, and restoring existing buildings is key to our future strategic plan."
“I am thrilled to have been selected to be the next Executive Director for Bennington Museum,” said Mr. Torrance. “It has a long-distinguished history representing the arts and culture of Vermont, a state that I recently discovered holds my family’s history. I look forward to forging new connections between art, culture, ideas, and innovation; delving into the museum’s vast collections of more than 40,000 objects; and bringing the museum further into the life of the community. Its outstanding collections, engaging programs, and superb staff are complemented by a dedicated board. Altogether, it is a wonderful opportunity that I am very excited about. I am grateful and committed to the success of both Bennington Museum and the community."
“Congratulations to Bennington Museum and to Joshua Torrance on his placement as Executive Director,” said ACG Senior Vice President Wyona Lynch-McWhite. “We were fortunate to work in partnership with the search committee to place someone of his skillset, passion, and caliber in this strategic leadership position. ACG looks forward to the museum's future success as they work to develop community partnerships and plan for a future of growth and innovation while maintaining its commitment to the history, diversity, and traditions of the Bennington area.”