Heckscher Museum of Art

Huntington, Long Island, NY




Beth Levinthal Named Director of the Heckscher Museum of Art


On Monday, February 12, 2001 the Board of Directors of the Heckscher named Beth Levinthal as Director of the Heckscher Museum of Art. For the past seven years Ms. Levinthal made invaluable contributions towards expanding the artistic and educational goals of the Museum. She has successfully brought public programs of quality to the Museum to meet the diverse needs of the entire Long Island community. Recent events, enjoyed by thousands of visitors, include programming for the Aaron Copland's America and the Jane Wilson: Land, Sea and Sky exhibits.

As director, Beth will continue to lead the way to make the Heckscher Museum of Art a major Long Island institution. While Beth plans to continue to support existing programs, her vision for the future includes the successful completion of a major capital campaign to raise funds towards the Museum's expansion. The new facility will include a café and auditorium, a library for scholarship and research, an expanded gift shop and additional handicap accessible facilities. Funds will also be used to build state-of-the-art storage facilities to house and protect the Museum's art collection, office space for the staff needed to support new programs, and kitchen facilities. (left: Beth Levinthal, Director of the Heckscher Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of Heckscher Museum of Art)

Ms. Levinthal states, "I want to welcome the Long Island community to the Heckscher and make it an important destination for visitors. We hope that our exciting and innovative exhibits will have a lasting and profound effect upon them. We plan to emphasize the relevance and importance of art in their lives and the connection of art to their cultural heritage." And she is doing just that. Under her direction, educational outreach has expanded from 6,000 people served to more than 21,000.

Immediately prior to becoming director, Ms. Levinthal served as Interim Director of the Museum. For the past six years, she served as Director of Education and Public Programs. She played a major role in program expansion at the Heckscher including the institution of Kwanzaa Family Day, the annual celebration of African-American family and culture and the 5th Grade Junior Decent and High School Docents Programs in which students are trained by museum educators to lead tours for their fellow classmates. Tales for Tots and Tales for Tots with Special Needs during which time children are introduced to the Museum through the reading of a story and related art activities was another one of her initiatives. Beth inaugurated the Family Gallery Guide, a free publication, which suggests activities and areas of discussion as families tour exhibitions together. This guide was later produced in Spanish for the Hispanic community.

In addition, Beth launched an exhibition of juried artistic works by high school students, entitled Long Island's Best: Young Artists at the Heckscher, in which students from Long Island school districts are given the opportunity to exhibit their work. Awards are presented at a reception for families, teachers and friends. Ms. Levinthal has begun the Heckscher Concert Series which features classical, popular and jazz artists whose musical selections relate to the current exhibitions.

Read more in Resource Library Magazine about the Heckscher Museum of Art

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This page was originally published 3/16/01 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 5/23/11

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