Allison Perkins Appointed by President Biden to the National Museum and Library Services Board of the Institute of Museum and Library Services
Allison Perkins, executive director of Reynolda House and Wake Forest University associate provost for Reynolda House and Reynolda Gardens, has been appointed by President Joe Biden to the National Museum and Library Services Board effective today. Perkins is one of 11 professionals named to the national board. An announcement from the White House was distributed today and can be found under the Briefing Room tab at whitehouse.gov.
The National Museum and Library Services Board, established by 20 U.S.C. § 9105a, advises the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) on general policies with respect to the duties, powers and authority of IMLS relating to museum, library and information services, as well as the annual selection of National Medals recipients.
“I am honored to have been appointed to the National Museum and Library Services Board,” said Perkins. “I firmly believe in the power of museums and libraries to spark curiosity and a desire for learning. Such community spaces enhance our lives and expand our horizons, heightening our capacity to understand the wider world. I spent the first half of my career as an art museum educator, and this background infuses everything I do as a museum and university administrator. My belief in the power of education is deeply rooted in the ways that museums can support people to learn, imagine and discover personal purpose. I am humbled by the distinct privilege of being asked to serve on the board of an organization that celebrates the impact of museums and libraries.”
“I firmly believe in the power of museums and libraries to spark curiosity and a desire for learning. Such community spaces enhance our lives and expand our horizons, heightening our capacity to understand the wider world.”Allison Perkins
Reynolda has received two IMLS grants, both through the Museums for America program. In 2012, the museum received $137,698 for a website redesign, which included rethinking the possibilities of digital engagement with its visitors. Reynolda also received $143,530 in 2016 to develop a free, downloadable mobile audio-visual tour, Reynolda Revealed, to enable visitor engagement with the stories conveyed by its grounds, art collection and archives.
“Throughout my 39-year career, I have worked for several art museums that have been recipients of grants from IMLS that have been crucial in helping the institutions fulfill their mission,” said Perkins. “Reynolda is no exception. I am proud of the pivotal funding that Reynolda has received from IMLS, enabling us to reach strategic goals.”
“Congratulations to Allison Perkins on this appointment. It is a true testament to her exceptional and distinguished career in art museums,” said Dr. Susan R. Wente, President of Wake Forest University. “She is a strong and innovative leader who came to Reynolda 16 years ago. Under her stewardship the museum has increased its visibility nationwide, bringing more attention to its impressive American art collection and engaging diverse audiences through the expansion of its programs and educational opportunities. She brings extensive knowledge and experience to the National Museum and Library Services Board. Her appointment also speaks to the national importance of Reynolda House Museum of American Art.”
A spirited leader and gracious steward of art, Perkins joined the staff of Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, as executive director in 2006. She was named Wake Forest University’s associate provost for Reynolda House and Reynolda Gardens in 2015. Reynolda is evolving as a unified destination for visitors of all ages and backgrounds to experience belonging through peaceful contemplation, play, work and learning. Annually, more than 180,000 visitors from North Carolina and beyond visit the historic 1917 estate, which includes the highly regarded art museum, formal gardens and public grounds. Reynolda’s affiliation with Wake Forest University has grown in several stages, and the historic property and school share a grounding in the humanities for the common good. Perkins considers herself an audience advocate and, in her role at Reynolda, she upholds the institution’s mission to connect people with the beauty and complexity of the American story through the integration of art, nature and history.
Perkins spent the first half of her career in art museum education. Prior to joining Reynolda, she was deputy director of education and interpretation at the Baltimore Museum of Art, moving there from her previous role as education director of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth. Perkins received a Bachelor of Arts in art history from Lake Forest College and completed graduate work in art history at the University of Chicago. She is a graduate of the Getty Leadership Institute, an executive training program for senior-level museum professionals.
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. IMLS envisions a nation where individuals and communities have access to museums and libraries to learn from and be inspired by the trusted information, ideas, and stories they contain about our diverse natural and cultural heritage. To learn more, visit imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
August 12, 2022