April 15, 2020

Dear Friends,

The spirit of spring gives rise to resilience. Hill-Stead Museum bears witness to nature’s remarkable transformation from the birth of lambs in our fields to forsythia’s fiery light and magnolia buds bursting into springtime snowballs.

While the world retreats into quarantine, Hill-Stead is experiencing a moment. With it, we are embracing an unchangeable truth about being human: with a past that is behind us, and a future uncertain, what we do have is the present. In this present—a world filled with constraints of what we cannot, or should not, do—we present a possibility: visit Hill-Stead, to experience and marvel anew at nature’s miraculous power to create; and please do continue to share with us the stories of your visits!

With trees blooming and faith traditions celebrating hope and rebirth, Hill-Stead Museum is itself on a path to reach new heights. We have responded to the chaos of the times with creative energy, igniting the imagination through groundbreaking new programs outside the walls of the museum. Through it all, we have honored our commitment, keeping our gorgeous grounds open for all—an oasis in a turbulent time.


And we are determined to carry on with a dynamic, transformative journey we had begun before the present swerve began. It is with eyes to those exciting plans that I am so pleased to announce an important investment, namely a new appointment to our small but mighty team. Beth Brett officially joins us as our Director of Communications and Marketing, having spent her formative years as a lead publicist for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. A graduate of Princeton University, Beth has spent the majority of her career in the world of arts and culture. With a master’s degree from Stanford’s Journalism School, Beth has bylined articles for The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and ESPN the Magazine. Most recently, the March 8th edition of the Hartford Courant published her op-ed piece about choosing to move to Connecticut. In it, she writes, “Having worked at the J. Paul Getty Museum for eight years, I am now smitten with the Hill-Stead Museum’s impressive collections and
gardens…” Please read more about her appointment here.

Book-ended by my tenure at MoMA in New York and Beth’s at the Getty in Los Angeles, we are arts impactors collaborating on both the challenges and opportunities ahead. Together with the team, we possess the passion, expertise, creativity, and courage necessary to enhance and elevate the museum in innovative ways. Our treasured National Historic Landmark deserves the very best leadership to take it to the next level as the institution prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary. I am thrilled that Beth will join me to champion Hill-Stead, and together, we look forward to sharing many exciting announcements in the coming months.

Wishing you well,

Dr. Anna Swinbourne, Executive Director & CEO

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