GLENS FALLS — Erin B. Coe, the museum director of The Hyde Collection, will be leaving later this summer, according to the Hyde Collection Board of Trustees. Coe will be accepting a position as the Director of the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State University.
The announcement comes less than two weeks after the grand opening of the Feibes & Schmitt Gallery, which expanded the museum’s exhibit space by 1,500 square feet. Coe played a key role in securing one of the largest gifts in the museum’s history and helped to raise over $500,000 for the gallery. She and Hyde curator Jonathan Canning curated the gallery’s debut exhibit, the first new exhibit space for the museum in 28 years.
Coe has a long history with the museum. She began her work with the Hyde in 1999. In 2014 she left her position as chief curator to pursue her doctoral degree in the history of art and architecture at Boston University. She returned in April of 2015 as the director.
In her position as chief curator, Coe garnered national attention for The Hyde with an iconic exhibit of Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings of Lake George. The exhibit featured pieces from over 50 paintings and the museum saw record-breaking attendance. As the director, Coe worked to expand the museum’s exhibit space, raise funds for the museum’s future endeavors and carry on The Hyde’s legacy of bringing European and American modern art to Upstate.
“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,” said Karl Seitz, chairman of The Hyde Board of Trustees.
The search for a new director is already underway. In the interim, Anne Saile will serve in the position. Saile is the former president of Bellevue Woman’s Center and is the founder of Women@Work Executive Advisory Board for Hearst and The Saile Group LLC. The last is a business development and leadership consulting firm. Saile also has experience working as the executive director of New York State Office of Professional and Medical Conduct.
While Seitz said that the board is pleased to see Coe take the next step in her career, the museum will miss her visionary and vibrant personality.
“The Hyde will always be my first love. 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,” Coe said in a press release.
That national treasure now contains over 4,000 works, thanks in part to Coe’s work. While the museum’s core collection of artists Sandro Botticelli, El Greco, Rembrandt, Edgar Degas and many others remains a staple for The Hyde, the collection of modern art continues to grow, featuring artists like Sol LeWitt and Ellsworth Kelly.
“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,” Seitz said.