The Hyde Collection Board of Trustees announced that Erin B. Coe will leave the position of museum director this summer to accept a position as director of the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State University.
A national search will be conducted for a new director, said Karl Seitz, chairman of the Hyde board of trustees. Coe will leave the Hyde in late July.
The board also announced that Anne Saile, an accomplished nonprofit CEO and founder of the Saile Group LLC, a business development and leadership consulting firm, has been named interim director.
Saile is the former president of Bellevue Woman’s Center in Schenectady. She has served on numerous boards and blue ribbon panels, is founding chair of the Women@Work Executive Advisory Board for Hearst, immediate past president of the board of directors of the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society and founding member of the Forum for Executive Women.
“This is a bittersweet moment for The Hyde,” Seitz said. “We are delighted to see Erin take the next big step in what is already a brilliant career. Her leadership of the Hyde, particularly the establishment of the new Feibes & Schmitt Gallery for Modern and Contemporary art, has been extraordinary.
“Erin has created a platform for future growth and opportunity for The Hyde. As her colleagues and friends, we will miss our daily contact with a vibrant, optimistic, visionary spirit and we wish her only the best.”
Coe helped the Hyde secure one of the largest gifts in its history, $11 million in modern art and cash from Schenectady architect Werner Feibes and his late partner, James Schmitt. She then led a successful campaign to raise $500,000 more in private contributions and foundation support to expand the museum and build a new gallery to showcase modern art, the first new exhibition space at the Hyde in more than 28 years.
Even before her appointment as director, Coe, while serving as chief curator, brought the Hyde national attention when she assembled a first-of-its-kind exhibition of iconic American artist Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings of Lake George. The exhibition brought together more than 50 paintings from public and private collections and drew laudatory national media coverage and record-breaking attendance, museum officials said.
“Erin Coe will long be remembered as the director who took the Hyde to great new heights, vastly expanded our permanent collection of Modern art, built a beautiful new gallery, organized outstanding exhibitions that attracted big crowds, and strengthened The Hyde’s ties to our community,” Seitz said.
Coe initially joined the Hyde in 1999 and was with the museum for 15 years, leaving as the chief curator in 2014 to focus on her doctoral degree in the history of art and architecture at Boston University. Upon her return, she was appointed director of the Hyde collection in April 2015.
“The Hyde will always be my first love,” said Coe. “I grew up here professionally, and I am indebted to the Hyde’s trustees, staff, members, and volunteers for the support they have given to me as I pursued my professional dreams. The Hyde collection is a national treasure located in a small community, and it has been a great professional honor to contribute to its growth and success.”
Saile is an accomplished executive who has spoken nationally on high-impact leadership, effective business models, governance, ethics, and creating excellence in nonprofit organizations, officials said.
At Bellevue, one of only two nonprofit, independent hospitals for women in the nation, she turned around the troubled finances of the institution and became one of the most highly recognized advocates for the health care needs of women and children, according to museum officials. Before her service at Bellevue, she was the executive director of the New York State Office of Professional and Medical Conduct.