The Westmoreland Museum of American Art has a new leader — one who was attracted to its dedication to American art as well as an opportunity to get closer to family.
“(The Westmoreland) is an amazing place,” said Anne Kraybill, who on Aug. 20 will become the Richard M. Scaife Director/CEO of the downtown Greensburg museum.
She will succeed Judith Hansen O’Toole, who retires this month after 25 years in the position, and become just the third director in the museum’s history.
“Judy O’Toole is leaving quite a legacy, and I’ll have some big shoes to fill,” said Kraybill, who will come from the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark.
Crystal Bridges was founded by Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton. Its permanent collection features American art from the Colonial era to the contemporary period, including works by Jasper Cropsey, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, Romare Bearden, Norman Rockwell, Jasper Johns, Jackson Pollock and others.
Kraybill said she was interested in The Westmoreland position first because of the museum’s dedication to American art, which has been her own career focus for the past eight years at Crystal Bridges.
There she was promoted through several positions in the education department to become Director of Education and Research in Learning and a member of the leadership team in 2015. She helped develop programs and partnerships that serve more than 160,000 people annually. She currently heads a staff of 35 full-time and part-time employees.
“Anne is a skilled leader with a track record of successful engagement and impact with the communities the museum serves,” Rod Bigelow, Crystal Bridges executive director and chief diversity & inclusion officer, said in a statement. “While we’ll miss her at Crystal Bridges, we couldn’t be more proud of her accomplishments and bright future.”
Ellen Swank, president of The Westmoreland’s board of trustees, praised Kraybill’s selection as its new director.
“She brings a wealth of experience to the role, and we are confident in her ability to lead us into the next era for the museum,” Swank said in a release.
Kraybill said she will start her tenure in Greensburg by listening and learning.
“One thing I think The Westmoreland is positioned to do is to reach a larger audience, but I don’t presume to know the organizational culture,” she said. “I’ll spend the first 90 days doing a lot of listening to the staff and community partners.”
A Towson, Md., native, Kraybill previously held positions at the Vero Beach Museum of Art, the Center for Creative Education and the Norton Museum of Art, all in Florida. She has a master’s degree in museum education from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and was a graduate assistant at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Kraybill and her husband, James, have two sons: Liam, 10, and Calvin, 2. James Kraybill’s parents live in West Grove, Chester County.
“I fell in love with Pittsburgh and Greensburg, and especially all the historical buildings,” she said of the interview process. “The location puts us closer to family and the size felt right.”
The Kraybills have a house in Greensburg under contract.
“It’s a wonderful home in a wonderful part of town,” she said.
Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter @shirley_trib.