CT Historical Society Names Ilene J. Frank Chief Curator, Director of Collections and Education

May 6, 2015 · Press Releases

Hartford, Conn, May 6, 2015 – Ilene J. Frank has been Ilene 2appointed chief curator and director of collections and education of the Connecticut Historical Society (CHS). Frank will begin her position June 29 after leaving her position as executive director of the Rensselaer County Historical Society in Troy, N.Y. Bringing a holistic perspective of historical organizations to the job, Frank also oversaw exhibitions, programs and collections as associate director at the Schenectady Museum and Suits-Bueche Planetarium (now the Museum of Innovation and Science, or MiSci) in Schenectady, N.Y. She is a graduate of the Cooperstown Graduate Program, one of the oldest and most distinguished history museum studies programs in the nation.

“We’re excited to be bringing Ilene’s experience and enthusiasm for history to the Connecticut Historical Society,” said CHS Executive Director Jody Blankenship. “Throughout her career, Ilene has demonstrated the ability to lead the curatorial, interpretive and programmatic elements of museums and historical societies. She is the right person to help CHS achieve our ambitious and exciting new strategic plan, and to connect our members and visitors to the story of Connecticut.”

The chief curator shapes, cares for, provides access to, and helps people use and learn from CHS’s most valuable asset, its collections. In this position, Frank will lead a team that will identify compelling and relevant stories that help the citizens of Connecticut contextualize and understand their unique world, work with other historical organizations across the state to build and shape collections that document these stories, and develop products, programs and services that build awareness and promote the use of the collection with an end of understanding, learning, and appreciation for the discipline of history.

“I am thrilled to serve the Connecticut Historical Society as chief curator. I look forward to working with CHS staff to present engaging stories, told through CHS’ s stunning collection, that enable Connecticut residents and visitors to view history as a means to interpret today’s world,” said Frank.

C. Paul Beach, president, CHS Board of Trustees, said, “After a national search, we are delighted to welcome Ilene Frank as our new chief curator. Ilene’s wonderful and varied background in history and museums amply demonstrates her ability to build audiences with effective and compelling historical interpretation. She will be a wonderful addition to our leadership team.”

About the Connecticut Historical Society

Established in Hartford in 1825, the Connecticut Historical Society is the official state historical society of Connecticut and one of the oldest historical societies in the nation. Located at 1 Elizabeth Street in Hartford, CHS houses a nonprofit museum, library, archive and education center that is open to the public. The CHS campus houses a research center containing over 3.5 million manuscripts, graphics, books, artifacts, and other historical materials. CHS also loans items in its collection to local historical societies around the state.

CHS programs and exhibits help Connecticut residents connect with each other, have conversations that shape our communities and make informed decisions based on our past and present.

For more information, visit chs.org.

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