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Fuller Craft Museum Bids a Fond Farewell to Director Jonathan L. Fairbanks

CONTACT: Titi Ngwenya (508) 588-6000 x118,
(Brockton, Mass.) Fuller Craft Museum, New England’s home for contemporary craft
Museum Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Thursday 5:00 – 9:00 pm

Fuller Craft Museum bids a fond farewell to Director Jonathan L. Fairbanks as he retires from his role as Director at Fuller Craft Museum, effective July. After a long prestigious career, including five years as Director of Fuller Craft Museum, Fairbanks has decided to retire at the age of 84.

In recognition of his leadership, scholarship, and service, the Board has named him Senior Research Associate and Director Emeritus. Fairbanks plans to be both a resource for this institution and continue his scholarship, writing, and painting. Deputy Director, Denise Lebica, will serve as Interim Director while a national search is conducted to fill the position of Executive Director. This position will be known as the Jonathan Leo Fairbanks Executive Director in honor of Jonathan’s indispensable contribution to Fuller Craft Museum.

Words from Jonathan Fairbanks:
“It seems like a good time to step aside. Fuller Craft Museum is at the moment of emergence. The chrysalis has broken; we are going to fly. But now’s the time for me to step back —let some other talent come aboard and lift us to a new plateau of achievement. I’ve enjoyed working here. I did witness a wonderful staff. They had new ideas and thought positively about this place. Everyone who comes here loves this museum, it’s got a beautiful prospect, a sense of nature and art coexisting. What this place does is engage the human spirit. I wish for the future of the Museum a very active arts community built into our landscape.”

In 2012, when Jonathan was named to the position, Fuller Craft Museum gained a world-renowned scholar of American antiques and art. Before Fuller Craft, art, design, and true creative vision were the cornerstones of Jonathan’s multifaceted career as a curator, educator, museum administrator, artist, historian, and writer. Among his many accomplishments, Fairbanks had previously founded the American Decorative Arts and Sculpture department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and served as the department’s curator from 1970 – 1999. He expanded the institution’s contemporary craft holdings of furniture, ceramics, glass and fiber during his tenure. He received his training at the University of Utah (BFA, 1953), University of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (MFA, 1957), Winterthur Museum and the University of Delaware (MA, 1961). Employed at Winterthur over the next decade, he became the Associate Curator for Conservation responsible for building the conservation/research wing of that Museum.

Over the past five years as Fuller Craft Museum Director, he continued to play a leading role as an advocate for American crafts, design, and decorative arts while leading Fuller Craft Museum, growing its programming, collection, and national reputation. In 2014, Fairbanks fostered a new level of stability and curatorial relevance when he adopted an additional role as Trustee for the extensive collection of the late Joan (Jockwig) Pearson Watkins (1924 – 2013). Through his passion, intellect, and expertise Fairbanks expanded the Museum’s programming, collection, and national reputation to a new level of prominence, helping to reclaim its position as an influential advocate for contemporary craft.

The Board and Staff of the Museum will always appreciate Fairbanks for his incredible intellect, expertise in Museum work. Most importantly, the Museum will honor his devotion to the values of contemporary and traditional crafts and their power to improve the hands, hearts, and minds of all people.

About Fuller Craft Museum

Fuller Craft Museum, New England’s only museum of contemporary craft, is dedicated to the
objects, ideas, and insights that inspire both patrons and artists to explore life through the art
of contemporary craft. Fuller Craft Museum is located at 455 Oak St. in Brockton, MA. The
Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, with free admission for all
Thursdays from 5:00 – 9:00 pm. Admission is $10 adults, $8 seniors and $5 students, free for
members and children 12 and under. For more information on Fuller Craft exhibitions and
events please visit or call 508.588.6000.

Fuller Craft Museum, New England’s home for contemporary craft.

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