Nor­ton’s Hall to join Gar­den Con­ser­vancy

Palm Beach Daily News - - TODAY - By JAN SJOSTROM

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.

Photo by Tay­lor Jones

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.

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