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After 11 years with Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Ellsworth Brown steps down as president.


Ellsworth Brown

“This has been a grand and extremely rewarding period in my personal and professional life,” Ellsworth Brown said upon announcing his decision to end his 11-year tenure as the president of Carnegie Museums and Library of Pittsburgh. “I leave knowing that the museums and library will always thrive because they matter so much to so many.”

On April 1, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh announced that Ellsworth Brown had resigned his position as president of both organizations in order to pursue interests beyond Carnegie Museums and Library and, possibly, outside Pittsburgh.

Brown came to Pittsburgh in 1993 after an already prestigious career as a professor of history and a leader of numerous cultural organizations. Formerly director of the Dacotah Prairie Museum and then the Tennessee State Museum, Brown became president and director of the Chicago Historical Society in 1981, a position he held for 12 years. He joined Carnegie Museums two years after the opening of Carnegie Science Center and one year before the opening of The Andy Warhol Museum. During his tenure as president, Carnegie Museums more than doubled its audience reach—to a high of 1.6 million people in 2002—through focused marketing and exhibition planning.

“ I am so proud of what we accomplished over the past 11 years—bringing the city a new museum, and more than doubling the reach of all four Carnegie Museums,” Brown says. “That’s quite an achievement for any institution.

“ But now, as Carnegie Museums embarks on an institutional planning process that will set its course for the next decade and beyond, I believe it’s time for a new leader to see this great institution through its next period of change and growth,” he says. “It is also time for me to realize new challenges, which is always important to me.”

Suzy Broadhurst, chair of the Carnegie Museums Board of Trustees, has assumed the role of interim president at the Board’s request. “I’m so honored to have worked beside Ellsworth,” Broadhurst says. “His 11 years have been remarkably full and productive, and on behalf of the staff, volunteers, donors, and members of Carnegie Museums, I thank him for his dedication, service, and friendship.”

An historian first and always, Ellsworth Brown has always recognized the impact that the arts and sciences have on the communities they serve, and over the past decade he became one of the region’s most active supporters of western Pennsylvania’s cultural and economic redevelopment. Among his many regional associations, Brown is a board member of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance and the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, and a board member and a member of the Executive Committee of the Riverlife Task Force. Nationally, Brown is a member of the Smithsonian Council, chairman of the Museum Association of Pennsylvania, and a member of the Executive Committee of the American Association of Museums, for which he has held numerous leadership posts, including president (1990-1992).

“ Wherever I go,” Brown says, “I will always consider myself not only an enthusiastic ambassador for Carnegie Museums and Library, but also an ambassador for this wonderful city and region.”

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