Marquette’s Longhenry named director of Sheldon Museum of Art

· 4 min read

Marquette’s Longhenry named director of Sheldon Museum of Art

Color photo of Susan Longhenry on red campus background
Susan Longhenry

Susan Longhenry, director and chief curator of the Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University, has been named the next director of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Sheldon Museum of Art.

The appointment, effective Aug. 15, was announced June 16 by Chancellor Ronnie Green.

“Susan Longhenry is an innovative leader of academic-based museums who offers a proven background in community engagement, strategic planning, fundraising and visitor experience,” Green said. “Her ability to collaborate and build relationships across various audiences will certainly help elevate Sheldon’s role on campus, across Nebraska and in the museum community nationwide.”

Longhenry was selected through a national search to lead Sheldon, which is home to one of the nation’s premier collections of American art and a national leader in developing multidisciplinary approaches to the visual arts. She replaces Wally Mason, who is retiring after guiding the museum for nine years.

“I’m thrilled to join Sheldon Museum of Art’s many stakeholders at this exciting point in its evolution,” Longhenry said. “I’ve long been an admirer of Sheldon’s renowned collection and its extraordinary building.

“I’m inspired by the potential that I see for Sheldon to integrate even more deeply with the university community, city of Lincoln and Nebraskans across the state.”

Longhenry is a specialist in modern and contemporary art with more than 30 years of leadership experience with art museums nationwide. She is recognized as a progressive leader of academic art venues and brings a unique focus on the integration of academic and community engagement.

Her leadership is deeply rooted in engaging academic art museums with their respective communities. At Haggerty, her approach led to innovative interdisciplinary programming, including exhibitions developed in collaboration with Marquette University faculty that are compelling to community members on campus and across Milwaukee.

Longhenry’s focus on innovative community engagement led to the Haggerty Museum of Art becoming the only arts organization nationally to earn funding through the first round of the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Community Catalyst program — an initiative aimed at connecting museums, libraries and their partners with local communities.

Geoff Cline, president of the Sheldon Art Association, said Longhenry’s focus on community engagement and strategic vision were important factors in her selection.

“Susan has an impressive record of engaging multiple audiences in an academic art museum environment,” Cline said. “During the past several years, Sheldon has strengthened its ties to academic disciplines across campus — from English and history, to engineering and business. We are expanding those collaborations in the broader community, and Susan is uniquely positioned to move Sheldon forward.”

Longhenry believes that a museum’s mission shouldn’t be confused with or limited to its physical building, Cline said.

“Outreach has been intrinsic to the Sheldon Art Association’s mission for 135 years and will be key to our future,” he said. “Our association looks forward to partnering with Susan to build upon Sheldon’s legacy of education and collecting.”

Longhenry earned a Master of Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University. Prior to her tenure at the Haggerty Museum of Art, Longhenry served as director of the University of New Mexico’s Harwood Museum of Art. She also served in leadership roles at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

She is an elected member of the Association of Art Museum Directors and active in the group’s Academic Museums Committee and Equity Task Force. She has also served on national boards, including the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries, and as a peer reviewer for the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Learn more about Sheldon Museum of Art.

Recent News