Berman Museum Names New Executive Director
Lauren McCardel, an accomplished arts professional who most recently led development and stewardship initiatives at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and Architecture and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, has been appointed executive director of the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art on the Ursinus College campus.
As director of development at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, where she is currently pursuing her doctoral degree, McCardel developed, managed, and executed strategy for increasing philanthropic investment. Notably at Tyler, she secured a grant this year to develop and launch the Creative Scholars Program, a full scholarship pre-college program for students from Philadelphia public and charter schools who face financial challenges.
Long known for contemporary, innovative exhibitions and programs that invite visitors to think broadly and critically while challenging conventional thought, the Berman Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, a distinction that places it among the top 10 percent of museums worldwide and one earned by a very select number of museums in the United States. In 2021, it was named the best museum in Montgomery County by Montco Happening magazine.
“The Berman Museum’s record of engagement with the Ursinus College curriculum and neighboring communities is evidence of its commitment to intellectual and creative exploration, accessibility, and inclusivity,” McCardel said. “I am thrilled to join a team of collaborators that prioritizes these values, and I look forward to working with the museum’s staff, board, and members of the Ursinus and Collegeville communities to help shape the future of this institution.”
As executive director at the Berman, McCardel will oversee daily operations of the Berman Museum and establish priorities that connect the museum’s collections, exhibitions, and programs to the academic mission of Ursinus College, as well as with the neighboring community. She also will oversee the museum’s permanent collection and work with Creative Director Deborah Barkun to develop innovative exhibitions throughout the year.
“We are thrilled to continue to move the Berman Museum at Ursinus along a positive trajectory, Interim President Jill Leauber Marsteller said. “Each of our previous two directors contributed significantly to the depth and breadth of the museum and its offerings during their tenures. Now, with strong academic partners and staff in place, Lauren’s distinct skill sets will complement the team, and her vision and background in community outreach and fundraising will ensure that we move to another level of excellence under her leadership.”
“I echo President Marsteller’s sentiments,” added Ursinus Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean Mark Schneider. “Lauren connected instantly with the open questions framework of our curriculum, and I knew she would be a great fit for the Berman, for Ursinus, and for the surrounding community. I’m very much looking forward to working with her.”
The search for the Berman Museum’s executive director was conducted by Bill Appleton for Management Consultants for the Arts. McCardel earned her bachelor’s degree from Messiah University and her master’s degree from Savannah College of Art and Design. She replaces former executive director Charles Stainback, who retired in 2020. Lisa Tremper Hanover, the Berman Museum’s first director, had been serving as interim director of operations.
About the Berman Museum of Art
The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College opened in 1989 and has a national reputation as a leading academic and cultural institution known for its excellence in exhibitions, and educational and public programming. Its permanent collection includes more than 8,000 objects and includes modern Japanese printmaking; a works-on-paper collection that spans historical genres; photography; and a contemporary outdoor sculpture collection sited throughout the Ursinus campus. The museum presents exhibitions of regional, national, and international significance. It expanded in 2010 to accommodate permanent collection resources in the Henry ’48 and June Pfeiffer Wing.