Norton’s Hall to join Garden Conservancy
James Brayton Hall is leaving the Norton Museum of Art to head the Garden Conservancy, where he’ll start work June 1 as president and chief executive officer. His last day as the Norton’s deputy director is Friday.
Hall joined the Norton in April 2013, eight months before the museum unveiled the Foster + Partners-designed expansion that is now underway. Among the assets he brought were a degree in architecture, a master’s degree in landscape architecture, and experience serving as Norton Museum head Hope Alswang’s second in command at the Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design during that museum’s expansion.
“James was a superior deputy director because he brought extraordinary judgment and the ability to work with diverse parts of the staff in a way that has been productive and created an esprit de corps,” said Alwswang, who served as a reference for Hall when he applied for the Garden Conservancy job.
Hall said he’ll miss the Norton, but he’s glad to take on a new challenge.
“I like to be involved with organizations in times of transition,” he said. “I want to be involved with change.”
The Norton has made great progress during the four years he’s been there, Hall said. In tandem with its expansion, it’s re-examined its operations, is actively collecting and has revitalized its board, he added.
The 27-year-old Gar- den Conservancy organization “is in its adolescence,” he said. “It’s well run and well endowed, but it wants greater capacity and greater visibility.”
The Norton’s expansion, which is scheduled for completion in December 2018, is being well supervised by the on-staff team of project director John Backman and project manager Craig Steele, Alswang said.
The museum is conducting a national search for Hall’s successor and hopes to have a new deputy director in place by November.
The mission of the Garden Conservancy, which is headquartered in Garrison, N.Y., is to save and share outstanding Amer-
joined the Norton in April 2013, eight months before the museum unveiled the Foster + Partners-designed expansion that is now underway.
ican gardens. It advises private gardens on how to become public, helps rescue and rehabilitate existing public gardens, provides short-term assistance and planning advice, and coordinates “open days,” when private gardens across the country open to the public.
The organization has an annual operating bud- get of $3.5 million and a staff of 23. Residents Mary-Randolph Ballinger, Deborah Royce and Jorge Sanchez serve on its board. A few other high-level patrons also have homes in Palm Beach, spokesman George Shakespear said.
Norton Museum of Art Deputy Director James Brayton Hall, right, recently toured the Norton’s expansion with Bruce Gendelman. Hall is leaving the Norton to head the Garden Conservancy in Garrison, New York.