Fig. 3. The Marcia and Henry DeWitt Gallery in 2015, after the museum’s three-year renovation. Featured are works by the family of Charles Willson Peale as well as Federal furnishings from Delaware.
After 2003 the staff and trustees of the museum initiated a series of ambitious exhibitions, engaging programs, capital campaigns, and aggressive communications to elicit greater attention and support from the community. A new spirit of engagement within the Biggs began with the hiring in 2004 of the museum’s curator, Ryan Grover, and culminated in a three-year expansion and renovation of the galleries (fig. 3) ; several groundbreaking publications; a widening of the base of support; and an enviable list of educational partnerships. Inviting this level of public participation had a positive impact upon the museum operations, strategic goals, and permanent collection—a collection that has doubled in size under Grover’s stewardship. As noted by Charles Guerin, executive director since 2013, “The key stakeholders of the Biggs Museum have guided its recently explosive pattern of growth with a wise deference to the founder’s legacy. The core of Mr. Biggs’s intellectual and collecting interests are continually maintained within his timeline presentation of the permanent collection.”
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