Anne Hawley is the Norma Jean Calderwood Director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts. She was appointed Director in 1989 after the departure of her predecessor Rollin Van N. Hadley in 1988. With museum attendance in decline, and both the building and its collection in need of repair, under Ms. Hawley's direction the museum entered a period of major restoration. In 1992, she launched the hugely successful Artist-in-Residence program with the aim to revive "the intellectual and artistic life so integral to the vitality of Fenway Court" during Isabella Stewart Gardner's lifetime.
Anne Hawley was raised in West Liberty, Iowa, and educated at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where she earned a BA in English. Hawley went on to complete a master’s degree at George Washington University in Washington, DC. After graduation, Hawley worked as a research associate with the National Urban League and then with the Ford Foundation Study in Leadership in Public Education. She then moved to Massachusetts, where she became the first executive director of the Cultural Education Collaborative in 1974. In 1977, Hawley became executive director of the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities. In 1988, she won the Lyman Ziegler Award for Outstanding Service to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Hawley attended the Senior Executive Program of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Under Hawley’s leadership, Isabella Gardner’s legacy of patronage and innovation continues to thrive in programs that explore new ideas and thinking across all the arts and serve as the basis for scholarly exhibitions and symposia; school and community partnerships; and a wide array of public and family programs.
Following a comprehensive planning process, Ms. Hawley and the Trustees of the Gardner determined that the future of the museum as a cultural and civic leader, and its work in arts and education, depends on extension. The museum announced in late 2004 the selection of Pritzker Prizewinning architect Renzo Piano to design a new addition to the Gardner’s campus. The new wing is currently under construction and scheduled to open to the public in early 2012.
In addition to her responsibilities at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Ms. Hawley serves as a trustee on the boards of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Save Venice, Inc., and the Fenway Alliance of Boston. Prior to her appointment to the Gardner, Anne Hawley founded the Cultural Education Collaborative, an organization dedicated to stimulating arts public policy and arts education. She served as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities, and was instrumental in the passage of new laws supporting cultural life in Massachusetts, including the Cultural Education Act.
Awards and Honors
Anne Hawley was awarded an Honorary Doctorate (Hon.D.) by Emmanuel College, Boston, at their Commencement on May 12, 2012, where Ms. Hawley was Commencement speaker. She was also awarded Honorary Doctorates (Hon.D.) by Williams College, Babson College, Leslie College, and the Montserrat College of Art.
- Cotter, Holland. "Despite Devastating Losses, the Gardner Museum Is Rebounding." The New York Times. 31 March 1997. Available online. Retrieved 22 March 2008.
- Goldfarb, Hilliard. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Yale University Press, 1995.