Portland Museum of Art Announces New Director - Mark Bessire

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Friday, September 29, 2023

Portland Museum of Art Announces New Director - Mark Bessire
Mark Bessire.

PORTLAND, ME.- The Portland Museum of Art announced today that Mark Bessire has been hired as the new Director of the Museum. Since 2003, Bessire has been Director of the Bates College Museum of Art in Lewiston, Maine, best known for its Marsden Hartley Memorial Collection. Bessire will begin his new position at the Portland Museum of Art on March 2, 2009.

Among his many accomplishments at the Bates College Museum of Art, Bessire initiated a Collections Project Series, worked with departments to create cross-disciplinary exhibitions through a Synergy Fund, exhibited Chinese art to support Bates’s strong Asian Studies Program, and strengthened the Friends of the Museum program. Bessire was also a lecturer in the Humanities and Chair of the Committee on Public Art.

Previously, Bessire was Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art at the Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine, from 1998 to 2003. He organized many exhibitions there including The Photography of Ike Ude and Eracism: William Pope.L, which traveled nationally and was accompanied by an MIT Press Publication.

Bessire holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University, a M.A. in art history from Hunter College, and a B.A. from New York University. He was a Helena Rubinstein Fellow at the Whitney Museum of Art and a Fulbright Fellow in Tanzania. He has published widely including three books with MIT Press, has organized numerous traveling exhibitions, is active in local, community, and national public art programs, lectures on museum studies, and has participated on national art juries. His upcoming publication Stairway to Heaven: From Chinese Streets to Monuments and Skyscrapers will be published this year by University Press of New England. Bessire is a founding board member of the non-profit Africa Schoolhouse, which is dedicated to building schools in rural Africa.

In naming Bessire as the new Director, Hans Underdahl, President of the Board of the Portland Museum of Art, said, “I am delighted that the Search Committee chose and the full Board endorsed the decision to invite Mark H. C. Bessire to be the new Director of the Portland Museum of Art. The success and stature of the Museum, combined with the attractiveness of Portland as a place to live, resulted in a very capable pool of candidates from all across the country. After extensive study of the challenges and opportunities that the Museum will have in the years ahead, it was decided that Mark had the best combination of leadership and practical skills to achieve them.”

In accepting the position, Bessire stated, “I am honored to be selected as Director of the Portland Museum of Art. I look forward to the opportunity to lead the Museum at this critical point in its history. The acquisitions of the Winslow Homer Studio, the Charles Q. Clapp House, and the property at 87 Spring Street all demand a clear articulation of the Museum’s mission and aspirations in order to determine the next exciting stage of its growth. Developing these priorities will enable us to expand audiences, attract donors, and build the collection to make the Portland Museum of Art one of the most vibrant museums in America.”

“Our Director Search Committee was comprised of a broad spectrum of Museum trustees,” said Search Committee Chair and Trustee James L. Moody. “We interviewed several executive search consulting firms and chose Russell Reynolds Associates. The Portland area and the quality of our Museum attracted a large pool of candidates. Our committee is confident that Mark Bessire will do an outstanding job as our new Director, and we look forward to working with him to make our Museum and its programs even better.”

Mark Bessire is married to Aimée Bessire, Associate Professor at Maine College of Art. They reside with their two children in Portland.

Today's News

January 16, 2009

Sotheby's To Sell Rediscovered Masterwork By Lucio Fontana - Concetto spaziale, 1961

Experience Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Projects at the Asheville Art Museum

Artists Making Photographs Opens Today at the Whitney Museum of American Art

Czech-Born Architect Jan Kaplicky, Dies Just Hours After Daughter Is Born

Bookmarks - Worlds of Knowledge from Cuneiform to YouTube

Monumental New Work From James Turrell Unveiled at Phoenix Art Museum

Portland Museum of Art Announces New Director - Mark Bessire

Antonio Riello - B.SQUARE! Opens at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Kunstmuseum Basel Presents Today David - How Do You Love Dzzzzt by Mammy?

Cyprien Gaillard - Pruitt-Igoe Falls Opens at Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel

Goshka Macuga - I Am Become Death Opens at Kunsthalle Basel

Paper Exhibition Opens at Artists Space in New York

From Kabul to Kandahar: 1833-1933 at The Royal Geographic Society

The World of Madelon Vriesendorp - Paintings, Postcards, Objects, Games, 1967 - today Opens

Ephemerality Opens at The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education

Rosalyn Engelmann - Dry Tears at National Arts Club

Over Spilt Milk: The Fight for Fair Price & Fair Profit in Depression Era New York

Safle Graduate Award 2009 Announced in Cardiff

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful