The Philadelphia Museum of Art Announces Ellen T. Caplan as New Board Chair
October 23, 2023 - The Board of Trustees of the Philadelphia Museum of Art is pleased to announce Ellen T. Caplan as its new Chair. Elected by a unanimous vote, Caplan succeeds Leslie Anne Miller who stepped down after serving in the role since 2016.
“It has been an honor to serve as the Chair of a Board that is so generous and committed to the institution that it serves,” said Leslie A. Miller. “Over the past seven years, we have accomplished much including the completion of the It Starts Here campaign, establishing the office of DEIA, and the opening of the new galleries and public spaces in our landmark building. I am delighted to welcome Ellen Caplan as my successor and leave knowing that the museum is in capable hands for its next chapter.”
“I grew up coming to the Philadelphia Museum of Art with my parents and two older sisters. In fact, in my first memory of the PMA – at about five years old – I was trying to reach the top of the desk to give money for a Pay What You Wish Sunday,” said Ellen Caplan. “My parents thought the PMA was an important part of our city and their daughters’ education. I have countless memories over the years of PMA visits…taking part in guided tours, events on the East Terrace, watching movies in the auditorium, and spending time in the galleries as a young adult during my college years at LaSalle University. After serving as a volunteer and Trustee, it is a true honor to take this next step as Chair of the Board of this great institution, a place that has always welcomed me and made me feel like I belonged. As Chair, I’ll work to help every member of our community experience that same sense of belonging at the PMA.”
“On behalf of everyone at the PMA, I welcome Ellen as the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s next Board Chair,” said Sasha Suda, George D. Widener Director and CEO. “Having officially joined the Board as a Trustee in 2016, Ellen’s commitment to the museum dates back to 2008. During this time, Ellen has built strong relationships throughout the museum and worked closely with staff in all departments to help move the mission of the museum forward. I am excited to continue working with Ellen as we chart our next chapter and advance our shared commitment of making the PMA a place for everyone.”
“As we welcome Ellen, I want to also acknowledge Leslie Anne Miller. As Board Chair for the past seven years, Leslie led the way as a champion and ambassador of the museum. Her dedicated efforts allowed us to expand our offerings across multiple areas, including special exhibitions and installations, learning and engagement opportunities, and community celebrations. We are incredibly grateful to Leslie for her leadership, and all that she has done to ensure the museum has a strong foundation for the future,” said Suda.
Prior to 2016, when her service on the Board began, Caplan’s involvement with the PMA began in 2008 as a volunteer, first with The Women’s Committee, then she expanded her role across many more areas, including Chair roles with the Craft Show and The Philadelphia Show, two of the museum’s signature community events, which under Ellen’s leadership generated record support.
As a Trustee, Caplan has served on multiple committees, including the Executive Committee, Governance, Development, American Art, and Finance. Most recently, Ellen was chair of the Education Committee.
In addition to electing a new Board Chair, the Board of Trustees welcomed three new members at its October meeting: Jay Shah, Cynthia Lee Johnson, and Elinor Marrazzo.
About the Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is a national and international destination for art, but first we are Philadelphia’s Museum of Art – for all the many diverse communities of the city. Through our collections, exhibitions, events, educational activities, celebrations and more, the PMA is a storyteller, and we welcome everyone to be part of the story -- our doors are wide open. To learn more, visit www.philamuseum.org
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