Consulting Firm with Two Experienced Museum Directors Launches to Assist Art Museums in America

  • NEW YORK, New York
  • /
  • June 10, 2021

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Robin Nicholson

In a groundbreaking move—and reflecting the challenges that art museums face in the post-Covid world—two former art museum directors, Robin Nicholson and Terrie Sultan, announce a new partnership with the renowned consultants Hudson Ferris to form a new entity Art Museum Strategies @ Hudson Ferris. The firm launched in May.

Art Museum Strategies (AMS) principals Nicholson and Sultan each bring expertise gained through more than 30 years in the field. Together they bring extensive experience of re-structuring, re-calibrating, re-branding, and re-thinking art museums, especially important in the current environment. Their association with Hudson Ferris offers essential services in non-profit fund-raising, growth, and development.

AMS @ Hudson Ferris will offer a bespoke package of art museum director-led advice and consultancy on major post-Covid issues, specifically: re-calibrated strategic planning; board relationship and development; operational structure; fundraising; and ethically-guided de-accessioning projects. The firm’s value proposition is an affordable service with two art museum directors providing peer-to-peer support, a specifically designed menu of services, and professional support as directors and boards make difficult operational decisions.

Robin Nicholson said: “We are excited to partner with Hudson Ferris on developing an art museum-specific consulting service. Our colleagues in the art museum world are facing multiple challenges as we emerge from the pandemic and the many other societal issues that have roiled the country recently.

AMS @ Hudson Ferris will work with institutional leadership at all levels with the goal of assisting art museums to sustain their programs, build income, re-boot strategic plans, and re-evaluate diversity, equity, and inclusion. And above all, return to normal.

Terrie Sultan added, “With the enormous changes art museums and all cultural institutions are facing today, and the need for sound strategic planning for the future, now is the time for seasoned professionals to step up to help. By joining forces with our colleagues at Hudson Ferris, we can provide assistance in the crucial areas of need for today and the future.”

Terrie Sultan

Ed Liebman, Founding Partner of Hudson Ferris concurs. “We are thrilled to partner with Terrie and Robin for what we feel will be the most comprehensive and best in class consulting service available to art museums. “

Robin Nicholson (https://www.robinnicholson.com/; robin@hudsonferris.com) is an innovative ‘out of the box’ museum professional and art museum director: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: Deputy Director (2006-2014); Frick Pittsburgh: Executive Director (2014-2019); Telfair Museums, Savannah: CEO and Executive Director (2019-2020), who also brings experience of working in the for-profit and gallery worlds. His strengths are imaginative strategic thinking, fund-raising, and re-envisioning of the art museum model for both the near and long-term future. Nicholson has led several multi-million-dollar campaigns and independently developed two major strategic plans. He has directed the outward-facing aspects of American art museums over the last 16 years: collections, exhibitions, programs, digital initiatives, education, research and scholarship, community outreach, and audience engagement. Nicholson is committed to the future of art museums as diverse, equitable, and inclusive institutions that reflect the community they serve.

Terrie Sultan (https://www.terriesultan.com/; terrie@hudsonferris.com) is recognized as a thoughtful, innovative museum professional with strong expertise in energetic leadership, fundraising, strategic planning, donor relations, staff and trustee mentorship. She is highly regarded internationally for her curatorial projects and is a published author of a number of books and publications. As Director of the Blaffer Art Museum (2000-2008) and the Parrish Art Museum (2008-2020) Sultan developed and implemented major capital campaigns for endowments, program initiatives, and for the Parrish, completed a $33 million campaign for the design and construction of a new facility that opened in 2012. Throughout her career she has specialized and excelled in shaping and guiding major gift campaigns, preparing and implementing strategic plans, building strong staff and trustee teams, and enhancing and expanding the missions, visions, goals and services to the communities of the institutions she has led. 

Hudson Ferris (https://hudsonferris.com/) has a keen sense for unlocking fundraising potential within their clients’ reach. The firm has raised millions of dollars for charities across every area of the nonprofit sector, including the arts, healthcare, advocacy, environment and international development, just to name a few. Senior staff have held executive development positions at many of New York City’s premier institutions such as Playwrights Horizons, The Public Theater, Bellevue Hospital, and The New York Botanical Garden.


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