May 24, 2018

Pamela Franks Named Director of Williams College Museum of Art

WILLIAMSTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS—Williams College announced Wednesday the appointment of Pamela Franks as the Class of 1956 Director of the Williams College Museum of Art. Franks comes to Williams College after fourteen years at the Yale University Art Gallery where she is the Seymour H. Knox, Jr., Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. Prior to her tenure at Yale University Art Gallery, she was curator of public and scholarly programs at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas. Franks will begin her directorship in mid-September.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Williams College Museum of Art and the strong tradition of excellence in the arts at Williams,” Franks said. “WCMA is clearly a vital resource for the college and a longstanding model for academic museums. Moving forward, it is exciting to think about the possibilities for growing the collection and cultivating WCMA as a vibrant hub of art and community with students at the center. A vast potential for student engagement, along with faculty partnerships and museum collaborations, ideally positions WCMA to be a catalyst for new thinking about art and audiences and an incubator for innovative approaches to museum practice.”

In 2016, Franks served as acting director of the Yale University Art Gallery following the retirement of long-time director Jock Reynolds. She then was named senior deputy director and chair of the gallery’s management team, overseeing a major renovation and expansion. As deputy director of the gallery, Franks fostered thorough collaboration between the university’s academic programs and gallery initiatives, incorporating the gallery’s special exhibitions and programs into course syllabi. A doctor of the history of art, she has contributed to numerous scholarly publications and lectures.

“Pamela’s experience and vision make her the perfect choice for Williams,” said Williams College president-elect Maud Mandel. “Her commitment to learning and faculty partnerships will help promote WCMA’s collections as an academically inspiring learning resource and WCMA itself as an intellectual center at the college. At the same time, her vision for the arts will open up exciting possibilities for engaging the public in ways that distinguish WCMA from and complement our neighboring institutions like the Clark, MASS MoCA, and the Bennington Museum.”

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