Hunter Museum selects Stetson as director

Hunter Museum selects Stetson as director

March 8th, 2011 by Barry Courter in News

Photo by Tim Griffith The Holmberg Pedestrian Bridge leads to the Hunter Museum of American Art.

Daniel E. Stetson has been named director of the Hunter Museum of American Art, according to a news release.

He will begin work at the Hunter in late spring.

"I am pleased to be taking on this new position with the Hunter Museum of American Art and look forward to building an exciting future with this world-class museum," Stetson said in the release.

He succeeds Robert A. Kret, who left in late 2009 after nine years. Stetson was executive director of the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Fla., where he served for nearly 15 years.

"My genuine love of American art and the Hunter's magnificent collection, the wonderful staff, marvelous buildings and dedicated board make this an ideal match. I look forward to exploring and getting to know the Chattanooga community."

He is a native of Oneida, N.Y., and holds a bachelor's degree in art history from State University of New York Potsdam and a master's of fine arts from Syracuse University. He and his wife, Catherine, have three children.

"Daniel brings great enthusiasm and a wealth of experience," said Norma P. Mills, chairwoman of the Hunter Museum board of trustees. "I am certain the Hunter Museum and the community of Chattanooga will benefit greatly from his leadership and vision."

While at the Polk Museum, Stetson saw its annual budget double and the value of the art collection more than double, according to the release.

During his tenure, he led the museum through the national reaccreditation process twice and worked to have the Polk named an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

Last fall, he initiated the creation of "MayfaireFlorida: Festival of the Arts," a countywide arts festival. Under his leadership, the museum received the Central Florida Development Council's Dick Pope Award in 2008 and the Downtown Lakeland Partnership's Golden Swan Award in 2003.

Contact staff writer Barry Courter at bcourter@times freepress.com or 423-757-6354.