Want to run a Museum? The Morris Museum has an opening–again




Before last weekend, things were looking rosy for the Morris Museum.

Turbulent times appeared to be over with the hiring of Carol S. Ward as executive director.

Carol Ward, new director of the Morris Museum. Photo courtesy of Carol Ward.
Carol S. Ward. Photo courtesy of Carol Ward.

“We’re thrilled to have found her,” said Board President Gerri Horn, citing Ward’s administrative-, curatorial- and fundraising skills.

Young, enthusiastic and brimming with ideas, Ward sounded eager to start this week at the 113-year-old museum in Morris Township.

From her executive director post at New York’s Morris-Jumel Mansion, she even was bringing along a friendship with Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of Broadway’s Hamilton

You know, Hamilton —  Morristown’s second-most-famous Founding Father.

But on Monday, Ward did not attend a sold-out jazz show at the Museum’s Bickford Theatre. On Tuesday, the board gave employees the same terse statement it released publicly on Wednesday:

“The Board of Trustees of the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey, has announced that the appointment of Carol S. Ward as Executive Director is not moving forward and that the search for a new Executive Director will continue.”

Attempts to reach Ward and Horn were not immediately successful.

Museum CFO Connie Read, interim director since Linda Moore left in October, will continue in her dual role as the search starts anew.

“Nothing has changed since the fall,” said Read. “It’s working fine. We have a great staff. Everybody is cooperating.”

Read would not say who or what prompted this about-face, except to say that the Ward era never got off the ground. “She never started,” Read said.

Stay tuned.

In the meantime, if you think you can manage about 25 employees and a $2.5 million budget, while paying down debt for a 2007 expansion and presiding over a stream of exhibitions, concerts and theatrical productions, you may want to shoot a résumé here.


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