Museum Director Completes Oversight of Expansion Project

For Immediate Release
February 11, 2013
Media Contact:
Chris Potash
(610) 432-4333 ext. 125



Allentown, Pa.—Priscilla Payne Hurd President and Chief Executive Officer J. Brooks Joyner has completed his tenure as President and CEO having successfully overseen  the recent major expansion of the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley. Joyner was appointed by the Museum’s Board of Trustees in March 2010 to coordinate the Museum’s massive renovation project from summer 2010 through fall 2011. With the work finished and following more than a year’s worth of acclaimed exhibitions, Joyner will leave the Museum effective February 28, 2013, to pursue other opportunities.

Dolores Laputka, Chair of the Board of Trustees, stated, “The Museum, having  recently celebrated its 75th Anniversary, was fortunate to have had Brooks as the President  to successfully re-open and position the Museum for the next 75 years.”

During his time at the Allentown Art Museum, in addition to overseeing the expansion and renovation project, Joyner helped promote a string of successful exhibitions, including “Shared Treasure: The Legacy of Samuel H. Kress,” the blockbuster photography exhibit “Who Shot Rock & Roll,” and “Franz Kline: Coal & Steel.” He was instrumental in bringing to the Museum the important fantasy-art exhibition “At the Edge” in summer 2012, and in attracting the annual fantasy-art symposium IlluXCon to the Museum in fall of 2013.

“I came out of retirement to take on the challenge of guiding the Allentown Art Museum through its renovation and refurbishment and into a period of renewed growth,” said Joyner. “With the expansion completed on time and very close to budget, and with a strong exhibition schedule in place for the next few years, I can finally step back from the hectic pace.”

Joyner came to the Allentown Art Museum from the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska, where he was director from 2001 to 2009. What made him a particularly strong choice for overseeing the Allentown Art Museum’s expansion project was his oversight of capital improvements at the Joslyn, including a new entrance, new museum store, and the opening of a sculpture garden in June 2009—a fully funded $7.5 million project.

            In the Lehigh Valley, Joyner’s major contribution remains the successful stewardship of the Museum’s $15.4 million expansion and renovation project, designed by the renowned architecture firm Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates (VSBA) and constructed by Alvin H. Butz Inc. The expansion, begun in May 2010 and revealed to the public with the reopening of the Museum on October 16, 2011, has added 10,000 square feet to the facility, creating much-needed storage space, new galleries, an expanded Museum Store and Cafe, and a modern, warm, and welcoming atmosphere for visitors. Philadelphia Inquirerarchitecture critic Inga Saffron visited the Museum in June 2012 to review the renovation and wrote, “The transformation is dramatic. Huge windows march down Fifth Street, allowing clear views into the museum lobby, cafe, and bookstore…. Deeper inside the museum, the galleries look cleaner and richer.”

            A search committee has been formed to launch a nationwide search to identify Joyner’s successor. The Board of Trustees has asked the Museum’s current Director of Development & Marketing, Elsbeth Haymon, and Director of Administration, Don Gunn, to serve as interim Co-Directors of the Museum.

For more information contact Chris Potash at 610-432-4333 ext. 125 or cpotash [at] allentownartmuseum [dot] org