Sarah E. Henrich

A new director and senior curator has been named at Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art.

A new director and senior curator has been named at Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art.

Pennsylvania native Sarah E. Henrich had taken over the position and brings 40 years of experience within the museum field, having held appointments as a director, curator and associate professor throughout her career at posts in New Jersey, New York, Kentucky and Vermont.

“We are fortunate to have Ms. Henrich join the SAMA staff at this time in our institutional history as we celebrate our 45th year in operation as the longest operating rural satellite museum in the nation,” said Barry H. Newborn, president of SAMA. 

“Her extensive experience with many facets of museum operations and curatorial affairs will provide a rich basis for working with the five museum sites located in Altoona, Bedford, Johnstown, Ligonier and Loretto.”

Henrich’s curatorial experience includes curating international exhibitions to and from Japan, Taiwan and France.

Her expertise is in 19th Century American art with a focus on the romantic movement, Hudson River School and regional artists of the period.

Henrich’s museum experience includes assisting institutions preparing for and celebrating major anniversary milestones such as SAMA’s 45th year in 2021, and recently the 200th anniversary of Norwich University, Vermont, in 2020.

She has served as an assistant and associate professor, providing instruction in professional museum practices and curatorial methods Murray State University and Norwich University.

“I look forward to developing exhibitions and programs recognizing and celebrating their 45th year of artistic offerings for the communities of central southwestern Pennsylvania,” Henrich said. 

“The staff and trustees’ ongoing commitment to this organization and their recognition of the importance of providing high quality exhibitions and arts education, as well as collecting and preserving American art for this region, is exemplary. It is a privilege to serve as the director and senior curator of this special museum and its representative satellite facilities in the diverse and unique communities of Pennsylvania.”

Henrich holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from Muhlenberg College, a master’s degree in museology from Syracuse University and conducted Ph.D. studies at Drew University in American and British intellectual studies.

She currently serves as an accreditation reviewer team member for the American Alliance of Museums.

Kelly Urban is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. She can be reached at (814) 532-5073. Follow her on Twitter @KellyUrban25.

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