In a move reflecting the challenges that art museums face in the post-COVID world, two former art museum directors, Terrie Sultan and Robin Nicholson, are partnering with consultants Hudson Ferris to form a new entity — Art Museum Strategies @ Hudson Ferris.
The firm officially launched on May 13, and Art Museum Strategies (AMS) principals Nicholson and Sultan each offer expertise gained through more than 30 years in the field. Together they bring experience of re-structuring, re-calibrating, re-branding and re-thinking art museums, especially important in the current environment. Their association with Hudson Ferris offers services in non-profit fundraising, growth and development.
According to a press release from the firm, AMS @ Hudson Ferris will offer “a bespoke package of art museum director-led advice and consultancy on major post-COVID issues, specifically: re-calibrated strategic planning; board relationship and development; operational structure; fundraising; and ethically-guided de-accessioning projects.
The firm’s value proposition is an affordable service with two art museum directors providing peer-to-peer support, a specifically designed menu of services, and professional support as directors and boards make difficult operational decisions.”
Terrie Sultan is highly regarded internationally for her curatorial projects and is a published author of a number of books and publications. She served as director of the Blaffer Art Museum (2000-2008) and the Parrish Art Museum (2008-2020), where she developed and implemented major capital campaigns for endowments, program initiatives, and for the Parrish, completed a $33 million campaign for the design and construction of a new facility that opened in 2012.
“With the enormous changes art museums and all cultural institutions are facing today, and the need for sound strategic planning for the future, now is the time for seasoned professionals to step up to help,” said Sultan. “By joining forces with our colleagues at Hudson Ferris, we can provide assistance in the crucial areas of need for today and the future.”
Robin Nicholson comes to this new venture with experience as deputy director at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (2006-2014), executive director of Frick Pittsburgh (2014-2019), and CEO and executive director of Telfair Museums, Savannah (2019-2020).
“We are excited to partner with Hudson Ferris on developing an art museum-specific consulting service,” said Nicholson. “Our colleagues in the art museum world are facing multiple challenges as we emerge from the pandemic and the many other societal issues that have roiled the country recently.
“AMS @ Hudson Ferris will work with institutional leadership at all levels with the goal of assisting art museums to sustain their programs, build income, re-boot strategic plans, and re-evaluate diversity, equity, and inclusion. And above all, return to normal.”
Ed Liebman, founding partner of Hudson Ferris concurs.
“We are thrilled to partner with Terrie and Robin for what we feel will be the most comprehensive and best in class consulting service available to art museums,” he said.