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Washington County Museum of Fine Arts names new director

April 16, 2008

The Board of Trustees of the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts announced today that the position of director of the museum has been filled.

After a nationwide search, the Board of Trustees offered the position to Rebecca Massie Lane, effective Aug. 1.

Lane received her B.A. and M.A. in art history from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville and is currently director of the Sweet Briar College Museums and Galleries, and is an associate professor, program director, Arts Management at Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, Va.

Previously, she was director of the Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, Tenn., and held curatorial positions at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.

Lane has served as a grant panelist for the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. She has been active as a presenter in curatorial roundtable discussions on strategic planning, writing a museum collection's policy, implementing an effective acquisition process, and addressing diverse audiences.

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As director of the Sweet Briar College Museums and Art Galleries, Lane oversees the development of the permanent collection of art, organizes some 12 to 14 exhibitions each year, and provides educational outreach programs to area third- and fifth-graders, as well as youngsters during the summer "Kids in College" program.

She coordinates the work of the Sweet Briar Friends of Art, an association of alumnae who support the acquisition of new works of art for the collection.

Recently, she organized a major arts lecture series to commemorate the first 20 years of the Sweet Briar College Anne Gary Pannell Center Art Gallery, bringing to Sweet Briar Anne Litle Poulet, Director of the Frick Collection; Jane Alexander, former chair, National Endowment for the Arts; art historians Griselda Pollock and Joan Holladay, and internationally recognized artist Faith Ringgold.

Working in collaboration with the artist's retreat, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, she served as grants project director for the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation-funded program, Artists and Communities-"Blue Ridge Bridge," which brought composer Anthony Kelley to Sweet Briar/VCCA for a 10-week music composition workshop with associated culminating concert. In another campuswide endeavor, she served as a member of the organizing committee that developed a symposium on Native American leaders and brought Cherokee Chief Wilma Mankiller to Sweet Briar, along with Oren Lyons, Scott Momaday, artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and leaders of Virginia tribes, including Amherst's Monacan people.

In accepting the position, Lane said, "I am eager to begin. ... I look forward to learning more about Washington County, to meeting people in the community, and to developing arts programming that will uplift and inspire. I'm very honored to have been selected as the next director of the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts."

Dr. William G. Plavcan, board president said, "we are most excited to have Mrs. Lane join us and we look forward to working with her in the coming years."

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