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Nathaniel Sliver named next Hancock Shaker Village director


HANCOCK, M.A. (NEWS10) — After a four-month search, Hancock Shaker Village, the preeminent Shaker living history museum in the US, unanimously named Nathaniel Silver as its new director. Silver will take over the position from Jennifer Trainer Thompson on September 19.

Silver arrives to Hancock Shaker Village from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, where he worked for eight years, serving as the William and Lia Poorvu Curator of the Collection and Division Head. He oversaw collections, conservation, publications and archives.

“I am thrilled to join Hancock Shaker Village at such an exciting time. Like the Gardner, the Village is a work of art in its entirety with a deep commitment to serving its community and resulted from the vision of a woman ahead of her time,” said Silver. “The Shakers left a uniquely American legacy of equity and sustainability that resonates profoundly today and inspires every aspect of the Village’s dynamic public program. I look forward to working with the staff, to building on these incredible successes, and to shaping a vibrant future together.”

Silver was key to shaping and fulfilling Gardner’s strategic plan. He played an important role in making the collection reachable to the widest possible base and supervised content creation for the museum-wide digitization project. Silver charted new directions in the exhibition program, devising twelve exhibitions.

Silver’s program also included 10 publications that he authored, edited, or co-edited. Before joining the Gardner Museum, Silver worked for three years at The Frick Collection in New York City where his exhibition, “Piero della Francesca in America,” garnered international appeal.

Silver has also served as the Edmond J. Safra Research Associate at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and held fellowships at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence and the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice. He earned a Ph.D. and an MA from the University of London.

“We are very pleased to appoint Silver as the next Executive Director of Hancock Shaker Village,” said Diane Eshleman, Chairman of the Board. “He will be an inspirational leader who has curated marvelous exhibitions at the Gardner and is coming to the Village during an exciting time when our own dynamic programming is gaining momentum. We are incredibly grateful to Jennifer Trainer Thompson for the phenomenal impact she has had at the Village during her tenure and the wonderful legacy she leaves for us.”

Hancock Shaker Village has 20 historic buildings on 750 acres and brings the Shaker tale to life and preserves it for future generations. Through Shaker architecture, design, a 22,000-piece collection and engaging programming, the Hancock boosts appreciation of the aesthetics, beliefs, achievement, and controversies that have exemplify the Shaker experience in America. 


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