On Tuesday, Robert Harper announced he will be retiring as Executive Director, and a nationwide search will begin to find a new director for the Lightner Museum. During this transition, Rebecca Nagy will be named Interim Executive Director.

Mr. Harper had been the Executive Director of the Lightner Museum since early 1998, where he oversaw many projects. These projects include the preservation and opening of the Ballroom and the Downton Abbey exhibit. “I will cherish the experiences that I have been a part of here at the Lightner Museum. Thank you for the memories that I will hold forever,” said Mr. Harper.

The works set forward by Mr. Harper will continue, the Lightner Museum will continue to move forward with a strategic plan. This plan is required to gain accreditation with the American Alliance of Museums, AAM. Benefits of having AAM Accreditation promote credibility, ensure accountability and offer sustainability. These three factors are key to further support. Mr. Harper’s effort toward this accreditation throughout the years has been greatly appreciated.

Our Board of Trustees shared the following statement, “We thank Bob for his time at the museum. He dedicated himself to the Lightner Museum and accomplished so much for us. We know he has impacted everyone he has met and wish him nothing but the best in his retirement. We look forward to the great things to come here at the Lightner Museum.”

During the replacement period, Rebecca Nagy will be named the interim Executive Director by the Board of Trustees. Dr. Rebecca Nagy retired in 2018 after a distinguished 31-year career in museums, including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the North Carolina Museum of Art, and the Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida, where she served for 16 years as director. “I am honored to be named to this position. I will continue the great traditions set by Mr. Harper,” says Dr. Nagy.

Dr. Nagy has held leadership positions in the Florida Association of Museums, the Florida Art Museum Directors Association, and the International Association of Art Museum Directors and has been a peer reviewer for the Accreditation Commission of the American Alliance of Museums for over a decade.

While Mr. Harper’s retirement is a great loss, we feel the Lightner Museum is in great hands with Dr. Rebecca Nagy. From all of us at the Lightner Museum, we would like to extend our best wishes to Mr. Harper. Thank you for everything you have provided to the Lightner Museum throughout the years.