The Hunter Museum of American Art has named Daniel E. Stetson its new director. He will begin work at the Hunter in late spring.
"I am pleased to be taking on this new position with the Hunter Museum of American Art and look forward to building an exciting future with this world-class museum,” Stetson said. “My genuine love of American art and the Hunter's magnificent collection, the wonderful staff, marvelous buildings and dedicated Board make this an ideal match. I look forward to exploring and getting to know the Chattanooga community."
Stetson comes to the Hunter Museum from the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Fla., where he served as executive director for nearly 15 years. He succeeds Robert A. Kret, who left in late 2009 after nine years.
“Daniel brings great enthusiasm and a wealth of experience,” said Norma P. Mills, chair of the Hunter Museum Board of Trustees. “I am certain the Hunter Museum and the community of Chattanooga will benefit greatly from his leadership and vision.”
Stetson joined Polk Museum of Art in September 1996, making him the museum’s longest-serving executive director. Under his leadership, the Polk Museum’s annual budget doubled and the value of the art collection more than doubled. He led the museum through the national reaccreditation process twice; worked to have the Polk named an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution; and spearheaded a successful capital campaign, which exceeded the $3.7 million goal.
He oversaw development and presentation of more than 250 exhibitions, and helped start the “Florida Outdoor Sculpture Competition,” now in its 11th year. Last fall, he initiated the creation of “MayfaireFlorida: Festival of the Arts,” a countywide arts festival. Under his leadership, the Museum received the Central Florida Development Council’s Dick Pope Award in 2008 and the Downtown Lakeland Partnership’s Golden Swan Award in 2003.
Stetson is a native of Oneida, N.Y., and holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from SUNY Potsdam and a master of fine arts from Syracuse University. He and his wife, Catherine, have three children.